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Ernst-Jan Camiel Wit


Professor Ernst C. Wit is Professor of Statistics and Data Science at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. He serves as the director of the Institute of Computing and as vice dean of the Faculty of Informatics.

Prof. Wit obtained PhDs in Philosophy (1997, Penn State) and Statistics (2000, University of Chicago) in the US. From 2000 until 2005 he was in the Statistics Department at the University of Glasgow, where he became a Reader. In 2005 he became head of the Medical Statistics Unit (12 FTE) at the University of Lancaster as full professor. As Director he implemented a thriving Master in Statistics programme. From 2008 until 2018 Wit was at the University of Groningen, for the last 4 years as head of the Mathematics Department.

Since 2018 he is working in Switzerland, where he has continued to work on methodological development in high-dimensional inference with a specific focus on network modelling. He is the author of 130 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as the President of the European Bernoulli Society and as member of the Board of Directors of the International Biometrics Society. He was president of the Dutch Biostatistics Society. He is a founding member of the Data Science and Systems Complexity Center (DSSC), which also established a Data Science Master and a Statistics and Big Data Master, at the University of Groningen. Wit has presided over a European COST Action, entitled COSTNET (CA15109, 2015-2020), that has dealt with novel methods for statistical network science and that brought together over 500 researchers from 34 countries throughout Europe.

Currently, Wit is leading 2 SNSF projects on Sparse Network Inference and on the Dynamics of Innovation. He is a co-PI on the EU Periscope project on modelling the side-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Wit advises the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Netherlands on statistical matters relating to elections and referendums since 2014.