Kate Cowles

Professor Emeritus


Kate Cowles received her PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Minnesota. She was a Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics at the University of Iowa. Her research interests include Bayesian modeling, statistical computing, and environmental and spatial statistics.

Selected professional memberships

  • American Statistical Association

Selected awards and honors

  • President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence, The University of Iowa, 2015
  • CLAS Collegiate Teaching Award, University of Iowa, 2011
  • James N. Murray Faculty Award, University of Iowa, 2001

Selected courses taught

  • Seminar Applied Statistics, STAT:7290, Spring 2018
  • Readings in Statistics, STAT:6990, Spring 2018
  • Reading Research, STAT:7990, Spring 2018
  • Large Data Analysis, STAT:4740, Spring 2018
  • Readings in Statistics, STAT:6990, Fall 2018
  • Computing in Statistics, STAT:5400, Fall 2018
  • Bayesian Statistics, STAT:4520, Fall 2018

Selected publications

  • Cowles, M. (2018). Independent Sampling for Bayesian Normal Conditional Autoregressive Models with OpenCL Acceleration. Computational Statistics/Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00180-017-0752-0.
  • Liang, D., Cowles, M. & Linderman, M. (2016). Bayesian MODIS NDVI back-prediction by intersensor calibration with AVHRR. Remote Sensing of Environment, 186, 393-404. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2016.09.002.
  • Abban, B. K., Papanicolaou, A. N., Cowles, M., Wilson, C. G., Abaci, O., Wacha, K., Schilling, K. & Schnoebelen, D. (2016). An Enhanced Bayesian Fingerprinting Framework for Studying Sediment Source Dynamics in Intensively Managed Landscapes. Water Resources Research, 52, 4646-4673. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR018030.
  • Cowles, M. K. (2013). Applied Bayesian Statistics with R and OpenBUGS Examples. Springer.
  • Bayman, E. O., Chaloner, K. & Cowles, M. K. (2010). Detecting qualitative interaction: A Bayesian approach. Statistics in Medicine, 29(4), 455-463. DOI: 10.1002/sim.3787.
  • Cowles, M., Yan, J. & Smith, B. J. (2009). Reparameterized and Marginalized Posterior and Predictive Sampling for Complex Bayesian Geostatistical Models. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 18(2), 262-282. DOI: 10.1198/jcgs.2009.08012.
  • Smith, B. J., Yan, J., Cowles, M. (Eds.) (2008). Unified Geostatistical Modeling for Data Fusion and Spatial Heteroskedasticity with R Package ramps. Journal of Statistical Software, 25(10), 1-21. DOI: 10.18637/jss.v025.i10.
  • Smith, B. J., Cowles, M. (2007). Correlating Point-Referenced Radon and Areal Uranium Data Arising from a Common Spatial Process. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C -- Applied Statistics, 56(3), 313-326. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9876.2007.00579.x.
  • Gaul, N. J., Cowles, M., Choi, K. K. & Lamb, D. (2016). Modified Bayesian Kriging for Noisy Response Problems for Reliability Analysis. (Vols. 2B). INTERNATIONAL DESIGN ENGINEERING TECHNICAL CONFERENCES AND COMPUTERS AND INFORMATION IN ENGINEERING CONFERENCE, 2015, VOL 2B.
  • Cowles, M. K., Seedorff, M. & Sawyer, A. (2013). CARrampsOcl: Reparameterized and marginalized posterior sampling for conditional autoregressive models, OpenCL implementation.

Selected presentations

  • Cowles, M. (2016, July) Harnessing Heterogeneous Hardware for Affordable, Portable Bayesian Computing. Conference Presentation presented at Joint Statistical Meetings 2016, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Cowles, M. (2013, April) Discussion of Revealing Latent Clusters from Dirichlet Process Mixture Models Using Product Partitions. Invited Lecture presented at SLAMM! 2013. Saint Louis Area Methods Meeting, Iowa City, Iowa.
  • (2009, August) Reparameterized and Marginalized Posterior and Predictive Sampling for Complex Bayesian Geostatistical Models. Invited Lecture presented at Joint Statistical Meetings, American Statistical Association, Washington, District of Columbia.
  • (2007, August) Bayesian Evaluation of Surrogate Endpints in Cinical Trials. Invited Lecture presented at Joint Statistical Meetings, American Statistical Association, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • (2007, June) Computing for Spatial Estimation and Prediction with Application to Residential Radon. Invited Lecture presented at DIMACS Workshop on Markov Chain Monte Carlo, DIMACS, Piscatway, New Jersey.
  • (2006, April) Fusing Point-Referenced Radon Data with Areal Uranium Data Arising from a Common Process. Invited Lecture presented at Interface 2006, Interface of Statistics and Computing, Pasadena, California.

Selected grants and contracts

  • Oliveira, Suely (Principal Investigator), Darcy, Isabel (Co-Principal), Stewart, David (Co-Principal), Cowles, Mary Kathryn (Co-Principal) Grant Equipment. EXTREEMS-QED: Large Data Analysis and Visualization. Sponsored by National Science Foundation. Funded. August 15, 2014 - August 14, 2019.
  • Cowles, Mary (Principal Investigator), Bennett, David (Co-Principal), Kusiak, Andrew (Co-Principal), Segre, Alberto (Co-Principal), Stewart, Kathleen (Co-Principal) Grant Research/Creative Work (Applied or Basic). Integrated Graduate Research and Education Traineeship (IGERT): Geoinformatics for Environmental and Energy Modeling and Prediction (GEEMaP). Sponsored by National Science Foundation. Funded. July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2016.
  • Armstrong, Marc P (Principal Investigator), Cowles, Mary Kathryn (Co-Principal), Wang, Shaowen (Co-Principal) Grant Research/Creative Work (Applied or Basic). Grid-based Spatial Statistics Middleware: Theory, Design, Implementation, and Evaluation. Sponsored by University of Iowa Informatics Initiative. Completed. January 1, 2003 - December 31, 2003.
Research areas
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Computational statistics
  • Spatial and environmental statistics
Kate Cowles
PhD, Biostatistics, University of Minnesota
MS, Biostatistics, University of Minnesota
MM, Piano Performance and Pedagogy, Northwestern University
BA, Music, Carleton College