Department: School of Mathematical Sciences
Faculty: Exact Sciences
Tel Aviv University

Prof. Benjamini Yoav

My scientific work combines theoretical research in statistical methodology with applied research that involves complex problems with massive data. The methodological work is on selective and simultaneous inference (multiple comparisons), and centers on the “False Discovery Rate” (FDR) criterion, as well as on general methods for data analysis, data mining and data visualization. My current interest is the replicability problem in science: too often, the results of studies gaining headlines cannot be replicated by other experimenters. Part of the problem is the use of statistical tools that fail to address the challenge of selective inference. I am trying to develop statistical tools that will aid researchers to cope with this problem, from the areas of Medicine, Epidemiology, Genomics, Bioinformatics, Neuroscience and behavior.

In these areas and others, I enjoy cooperating with scientists on the design and analysis of their experiments. With Prof. Ilan Golani we share a lab where we investigate exploration behavior of animals when exposed a novel environment, be they flies or rodents, and even human babies. The computational and statistical tools being developed enable us to find structure in the huge data sets being compiled in such experiments. We advance the use of these tools to the development of drugs and to understand complex phenomena such as acquiring language.

Understanding that Statistics is an extremely useful profession in our data flooded world, and more such professionals are needed everywhere, I teach both basics and advanced courses and workshops and supervise many research students. The statistical point of view calls for relying on data based evidence rather than feelings and beliefs; being committed to this point of view, I make an effort to offer the ability to draw appropriate conclusions from data to as wide an audience as possible.

Member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Bioinformatics, the Israel Statistical AssociationAmerican Statistical AssociationThe Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Eastern Mediterranean Region of the International Biometric Societyand The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Recipient of Israel Prize in Statistics and Economics.

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