People Profiles

Derek Bingham, PhD, Statistics and Actuarial Science

September 23, 2015
Print

Dr. Derek Bingham is helping people see the future—and making it a better one in the process.

Bingham completed a PhD in Statistics at SFU in 1999 and became a faculty member at the University of Michigan in the same year. He rejoined SFU's Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science in 2003 as the Canada Research Chair in Industrial Statistics. Bingham was awarded the Centre de recherches mathématiques and the Statistical Society of Canada Prize in 2013. 

Bingham designs experiments for large-scale computer simulations to make predictions about real processes. His work developing new theoretical and algorithmic methodology helps to reduce the ‘messiness’ of these forecasts.

“Right now I’m working as part of an international team of physics experts and engineers to determine the initial conditions of the universe in order to understand how our universe is likely to evolve. It can take two years to run one set of simulation experiments, so I need to make sure the original concept is as efficient as possible,” he says.

Bingham’s past collaborators include the Center for Radiative Shock HydrodynamicsLos Alamos National Lab, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Prior to his current research focus, Bingham designed industrial experiments to help organizations run more efficient and accurate large-scale tests. 

“A lot of products are made of many smaller parts that must come together as a whole. In my PhD work, I was one of the first to design multi-stage experiments for these types of products. Every time you run a test it costs time and resources and so my methods helped reduce waste and resource usage,” he says. 

Bingham explains that the skills he learned in his doctoral program were key to his current role--which is one that he loves.

“I’ve always had lots of ideas — many not so good — but as a graduate student at SFU, I learned how to take good ideas and make them useful to others. These days I feel very grateful to not only get paid for those ideas, but to use them to do research that has a value to industry and science. I also get to work with colleagues who are outstanding scholars, teachers and people. It is really quite a privilege,” he says. 

Author: Jackie Amsden

Statistics and Actuarial Science

Recent Blog Posts

  • Mitacs Training Workshops: Spring 2018 December 15, 2017
    Mitacs is offering the following workshops at SFU in Spring 2018, free to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

  • Summer Research Fellowship: St Andrews Visiting Scholars Scheme December 13, 2017
    The Visiting Scholarships are intended to give researchers at any level access to the University of St Andrews Library's extensive Special Collections. Successful candidates will receive financial support up to a maximum of £1,500 to cover travel and accommodation for a period of 2-8 weeks between July 1 and August 31, 2018. Apply by January 12, 2018.

  • Nominations Open for Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy December 13, 2017
    Nominations are now being accepted for the Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy. The prize is awarded annually for work that presents new daring and creative ways of looking at the world. Submit nominations for consideration by February 15, 2018.

View Posts by Category