Ian Johnston                Curriculum Vitae

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Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Boston University
111 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-2560
Fax: 617-353-8100
Email: ianj at bu dot edu

I am a fifth year PhD student in the Statistics program at Boston University. Before joining BU in the fall of 2010, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a minor in Japanese from Drexel University. Since then, I have also earned a Master of Arts degree in mathematics from Boston University.

Teaching Experience

As an Instructor:

As a Teaching Fellow


  1. Block-Wise Auto-Regressive Modeling of Latent Genotypes for GWAS. In Preparation.
  2. Assessing the Computational Efficiency of a Spatial Boost Model for Quantitative Trait GWAS. Accepted by Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics.
  3. Hierarchical Gene-Proximity Models for Genome-Wide Association Studies. Under Revision. [arXiv]
  4. A Bayesian Hierarchical Gene Model on Latent Genotypes for Genome-Wide Association Studies. [Full Text].

Research Experience


Hierarchical Bayesian Models for Genome-Wide Association Studies

  • My PhD research focused on applying Bayesian statistics to a variable selection problem in genetics called GWAS. During my time at BU, I visited Japan as an NSF EAPSI Fellow, collaborated with Japanese and Australian researchers to develop a hierarchical Bayesian model for GWAS, analyzed 300,000 genetic markers in 3,500 individuals using R and identified a new candidate region for rheumatoid arthritis.

International Association of Statistical Computing Data Competition

  • A team of classmates and I worked together on a poster for a competition hosted by the International Association for Statistical Computing. We analyzed the effect of the Kyoto Protocol on reducing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and used a parametric bootstrap approach to impute missing observations in a longitudinal data set covering 193 countries over 20 years using R.
IASC Poster


Seamless Texture Maps for 3D Models

  • I worked under the supervision of Dr. Ko Nishino at Drexel University on a project in C++ to automate the process of building a seamless texture map for a 3D model from a set of range image data and corresponding high resolution density images.

  • Textured Frog


JMP Addin

  • In 2011 I wrote several JMP scripts to help teach probability and statistics to undergraduate students.
Japanese Language Quiz
  • In 2009 I programmed a quiz game in Microsoft Excel using Visual Basic to help students like myself memorize Japanese vocabulary.


Sangaku (算額)

For my minor thesis, I researched sangaku, or mathematical tablets. During the 17th century, Japanese people would often create colorful tablets that depicted a math problem or theorem without a solution or proof and hang them at temples and shrines. I think that the encouragement to study more math provided by that tradition could be useful for today's students as well. When I visited Japan in 2012, I was able to see some sangaku firsthand.