Andrew Gelman
Gelman in 2012
Andrew Eric Gelman

(1965-02-11) February 11, 1965 (age 59)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (SB)
Harvard University (MA, PhD)
Caroline Rosenthal
(m. 2002)
AwardsCOPSS Presidents' Award (2003)
Scientific career
InstitutionsColumbia University
ThesisTopics in Image Reconstruction from Emission Tomography (1990)
Doctoral advisorDonald Rubin

Andrew Eric Gelman (born February 11, 1965) is an American statistician and professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University.

Gelman received bachelor of science degrees in mathematics and in physics from MIT, where he was a National Merit Scholar, in 1986. He then received a master of science in 1987 and a doctor of philosophy in 1990, both in statistics from Harvard University, under the supervision of Donald Rubin.[1][2][3]


Gelman is the Higgins Professor of Statistics and Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.[4][5] He is a major contributor to statistical philosophy and methods especially in Bayesian statistics[6] and hierarchical models.[7]

He is one of the leaders of the development of the statistical programming framework Stan.

Perspective on Statistical Inference and Hypothesis Testing

Gelman's approach to statistical inference emphasizes studying variation and the associations between data, rather than searching for statistical significance.[8]

Gelman says his approach to hypothesis testing is "(nearly) the opposite of the conventional view"[9] of what is typical for statistical inference. While the standard approach may be seen as having the goal of rejecting a null hypothesis, Gelman argues that you can't learn much from a rejection. On the other hand, a non-rejection tells you something: "[it] tells you that your study is noisy, that you don't have enough information in your study to identify what you care about—even if the study is done perfectly, even if measurements are unbiased and your sample is representative of your population, etc. That can be some useful knowledge, it means you're off the hook trying to explain some pattern that might just be noise." Gelman also works within the context of larger confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science.[10]

Gelman's unique approach to statistical inference is a major recurring theme of his work.[11]

Popular press

Speaking at the University of Washington in 2017

Gelman is notable for his efforts to make political science and statistics more accessible to journalists and to the public. He was one of the primary authors of "The Monkey Cage",[12] blog published by The Washington Post. The blog is dedicated to providing informed commentary on politics and making political science more accessible.[13]

Gelman also keeps his own blog which deals with statistical practices in social science.[14] He frequently writes about Bayesian statistics, displaying data, and interesting trends in social science.[15][16] According to The New York Times, on the blog "he posts his thoughts on best statistical practices in the sciences, with a frequent emphasis on what he sees as the absurd and unscientific... He is respected enough that his posts are well read; he is cutting enough that many of his critiques are enjoyed with a strong sense of schadenfreude."[17]

Gelman is a prominent critic of poor methodological work and he identifies such work as contributing to the replication crisis.[17]


He has received the Outstanding Statistical Application award from the American Statistical Association three times, in 1998, 2000, and 2008.[18][19] He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association[20] and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.[21] He was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 2020.[22][23]

Personal life

Gelman married Caroline Rosenthal in 2002[24] and has three children.[25] The psychologist Susan Gelman is his older sister[26] and cartoonist Woody Gelman was his uncle.[27]

Gelman is a participant in Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth.[28]



  1. ^ Andrew Gelman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Gelman, Andrew Eric. "Topics in Image Reconstruction from Emission Tomography" (PDF). Harvard University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-06-06. Retrieved 2022-10-01.
  3. ^ Kesselman, Ellie (10 September 2014). "Statistics comes to Swarthmore College". Archived from the original on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2016. ...familiar name on that very short list of all Harvard Statistics PhD alumni: Columbia University political science and statistics professor Andrew Gelman in 1990
  4. ^ "Andrew Gelman | ISERP". Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  5. ^ "Applied Statistics Center | ISERP". Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  6. ^ Andrew Gelman, John B. Carlin, Hal S. Stern and Donald B. Rubin. "Bayesian Data Analysis" (2nd edition). Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2003. ISBN 978-1-58488-388-3
  7. ^ Gelman, Andrew (2006). "Multilevel (hierarchical) modeling: What it can and cannot do" (PDF). Technometrics. 48 (3): 432–435. doi:10.1198/004017005000000661. S2CID 7974250. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 May 2006.
  8. ^ Gelman, Andrew; Hill, Jennifer; Vehtari, Aki (2022). Regression and Other Stories. Cambridge University Press. p. 59.
  9. ^ "What hypothesis testing is all about. (Hint: It's not what you think.)". Archived from the original on 2022-02-10. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  10. ^ "Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms of science". Archived from the original on 2022-04-04. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  11. ^ Gelman, Andrew; Hill, Jennifer; Vehtari, Aki (2020-07-23). Regression and Other Stories. Higher Education from Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781139161879. ISBN 9781139161879. S2CID 218968955. Archived from the original on 2022-02-10. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  12. ^ "Monkey Cage". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Why this blog?" Archived 2015-03-15 at the Wayback Machine The Monkey Cage
  14. ^ Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science: Archived 2022-02-10 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ How Do I Make My Graphs?: Archived 2022-05-16 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Exponential Increase In The Number of Stat Majors: Archived 2022-04-05 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ a b Dominus, Susan (2017-10-18). "When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  18. ^ "Outstanding Statistical Application Award". American Statistical Association. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016.
  19. ^ Pennington, Rosemary (2 June 2022). "Big, If True - Episode 234". Stats + Stories. Miami, Ohio: Miami University. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  20. ^ "ASA Fellows". American Statistical Association. 2 May 2022. Retrieved 12 December 2022. Elected Fellow in 1998
  21. ^ "Honored IMS Fellows". Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  22. ^ "AAAS Fellows Elected" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 67. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-08-22. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  23. ^ "New Members". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  24. ^ "WEDDINGS; Caroline Rosenthal, Andrew Gelman". The New York Times. 2002-05-12. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  25. ^ "The way science works…or doesn't". Life After Baby. Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  26. ^ Galef, Julia; Gelman, Susan (December 13, 2015). "Susan Gelman on 'How essentialism shapes our thinking'". Rationally Speaking: Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics. Episode RS 149. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Full (PDF). Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  27. ^ Gelman, Andrew (14 July 2006). "Uncle Woody". Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  28. ^ ""Life Paths and Accomplishments of Mathematically Precocious Males and Females Four Decades Later"". Archived from the original on 2022-05-05. Retrieved 2022-05-05.