Purdue University - Department of Computer Science - William S. Cleveland Skip to main content
William S. Cleveland photo

William S. Cleveland

Shanti S. Gupta Distinguished Professor of Statistics

Professor of Computer Science (courtesy)

Joined department: 2004


AB, Princeton University, Mathematics
PhD, Yale University, Statistics

William S. Cleveland has developed many methods for data visualization, statistical model building, and machine learning that are now widely used by researchers in all of the major disciplines of engineering and the physical, biological, health, and social sciences.

This widespread usage of his work has come through developing the methods in the course of attacking problems of learning from data in a number of disciplines of science and engineering including visual perception, computer networking, environmental science, and healthcare engineering; an integration of knowledge from mathematics, statistics, computer science, and cognitive science; work on the design and implementation of software systems that carry out the methods; and a focus on the transfer of knowledge broadly to science and engineering through 4 books, over 100 published articles, and hundreds of lectures and short courses.

Cleveland's two books The Elements of Graphing Data and Visualizing Data have been reviewed in many journals from a wide variety of disciplines, and Elements was selected for the Library of Science. J. Lodge reviewed Elements in Atmospheric Environment and wrote: ``certain kinds of tendency toward bad graphics could be cured if as many authors as possible would not just read, but, in the words of the Anglican Prayer Book, `learn, mark, and inwardly digest' this volume.'' B. Gunter reviewed Visualizing in Technometrics and wrote: ``This is a terrific book --- in my opinion, a path-breaking book. Get it. Read it. Practice what it preaches. You will improve the quality of your data analysis.''

In 1996 Cleveland was chosen Statistician of the Year by the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association. In 2002 he was selected as a Highly Cited Researcher by the American Society for Information Science & Technology in the newly formed mathematics category. He has twice won the Wilcoxon Prize and once won the Youden prize from the statistics journal Technometrics. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the American Association of the Advancement of Science, and is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

Cleveland received an A.B. in Mathematics from Princeton; his senior thesis adviser was probabilist William Feller. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Yale University; his Ph.D. thesis adviser was statistician Leonard Jimmie Savage.

Last Updated: Dec 4, 2020 1:56 PM

Department of Computer Science, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-6010 • Fax: (765) 494-0739

Copyright © 2020 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact the College of Science.