Kris Sankaran

Kris Sankaran headshot
Assistant Professor
330 North Orchard Street, Room 3243-C
Madison WI 53715
Preferred pronouns: he/him/his
Joined WID: 2022

Statistical tools for exploring latent variation in microbiological and earth systems data


  • Postdoc, Computer Science, Mila / Université de Montréal
  • PhD, Statistics, Stanford University
  • MS, Statistics, Stanford University
  • BS, Mathematics, Stanford University

Research Description

Modern sequencing, imaging, and spectroscopy technologies give a window into complex biological and ecological environments. However, exploring these data without getting lost remains a challenge — statistical methods can help chart out the territory. Our research group develops models and interfaces that help researchers summarize general patterns, spot interesting relationships, and articulate uncertainty in multi-omics contexts. We have worked with generative and latent variable models to better incorporate contextual knowledge and integrate complementary data sources. We regularly implement software packages that translate statistical and visualization theory into flexible and accessible tools for the research community.


  • Jerome H. Friedman Applied Statistics Dissertation Award, 2018
  • Ric Weiland Graduate Fellowship, 2016 - 2018