Samuel Kou: New Secondary Faculty Member

Doctoral student Ryan Sun interviews Samuel Kou, Professor of Statistics at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences, who recently received a secondary faculty appointment as Professor of Biostatistics at the Harvard Chan School.

Read more about Dr. Kou below and join us in welcoming him to the Department!

What will be new about your role as a faculty member in the Biostatistics Department? Is there any aspect of the appointment that you are especially excited about?

I am quite excited about having an official secondary appointment in the biostatistics department. My research interests include big data analytics; digital disease tracking; statistical learning from electronic health records; stochastic inference in biology, among others. I am very much looking forward to discussion and collaboration with colleagues in the biostatistics department. I am also looking forward to more interactions with the bright graduate students in the biostatistics department.

What committees/activities/initiatives are you involved in at Harvard beyond teaching and research? Are you interested in extending any of these to the Longwood campus?

I am in a couple of fellowship committees in FAS, and have served in committees in SEAS. Right now I am serving in the Data Science Planning Committee, which is a university wide committee, working on the Harvard Data Science Initiative. Several colleagues from the Longwood campus also serve in this committee, and I enjoy working with colleagues from HSPH and HMS.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Harvard?  How about as a professor?

The brilliant colleagues and students always inspire me. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with and learn from them.

What sorts of activities does your family enjoy together? 

Taking the kids out to ride the train, visiting museums and farms. It is fun to see the toddler running around and his curiosity about virtually everything.

We’ve heard that you have an interest in military history – do you have a favorite conflict or general?  What is your favorite war film?

I am a big fun of history: Greek history, Roman history, Chinese history, British history, military history etc. For the military conflict, the Peloponnesian War is one of my favorites. For general, I think Hannibal is one of the all-time greatest. I like the movie “General Patton” very much.

Is there anything at all Harvard can do to reduce the pain of traveling between our campuses?  Or are we doomed to wait for flying cars?

If Harvard can build a subway between the two campuses, the traveling will be significantly improved. Until that day, I guess we have to be at the mercy of Boston traffic.