John Aston is Professor of Statistics at the University of Cambridge. He worked as a NISS Postdoc in 2002-2004 in Suitland, Maryland, where he performed time series research for the U.S. Census Bureau. John studied at Cambridge University for his undergraduate degree in mathematics, then spent half his time at Imperial College, London and half at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec while pursuing his Ph.D. in statistics. John’s expertise was in statistical imaging. John joined NISS shortly after obtaining his Ph.D. in statistics from Imperial and McGill. As a British citizen, NISS was really useful for John to be able to take his next career step of looking at time series in macroeconomic settings at the premier institution for such research, the U.S. Census Bureau.
Working with NISS also allowed him to simultaneously continuing work on statistical imaging. John really enjoyed working on time series. “It was a completely different environment than I had worked in the past. It gave me a very different perspective on academic and governmental research.” Working through NISS gave him more flexibility to attend conferences and interact with other NISS researchers, as well as continue work on his imaging research. After working with NISS, John and his wife moved back to England in 2008, to take up a position at the University of Warwick, and from 2014 he has been in Cambridge. He’s been lucky enough to be able to work on many interesting areas of application and has contributed to numerous statistical fields including imaging, neuroimaging, economics and linguistics, which has resulting in his recently being elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. With a penchant for variety, he often quotes his academic great-great-grandfather as stating that “The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard.”
A side benefit to working at NISS was that John met his wife, Karri, while he was based in the Washington DC area. They are proud parents of three children.