Leif Peterson

Leif Peterson joined Rice University as a lecturer for the Department of Statistics in 2022. He is also  principal of NXG Logic, LLC, a data analytics software startup, and an independent consultant in biostatistics, bioinformatics, machine learning and neural networks. 

Peterson’s research interests include computational methods for statistics, biostatistics, bioinformatics, machine learning and neural networks, numerical optimization, Monte Carlo simulation, and text mining.

More specifically, Peterson's investigations in quantitative finance include:

Prior to starting at NXG Logic in 2019, Peterson was a shuttle mission radiation specialist at NASA's Johnson Space Center (1986-1995), an associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (1995-2006), director of the Center for Biostatistics at Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI, 2006-19), a professor of bioinformatics and biostatistics at the Institute for Academic Medicine, HMRI (2016-19), and a professor of healthcare policy and research at Cornell University via his appointment at HMRI (2006-2019). 

Peterson has held an adjunct associate professor appointment for many years at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics and Data Science (2011-19), where has taught biostatistics since 2011. He has also taught several courses at the University of Houston and Texas A&M University.

Peterson is a senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of its Computational Intelligence Society (CIS). He served on the IEEE-CIS Bioinformatics and Bioengineering Technical Committee (BBTC) and the IEEE-CIS-BBTC Task Force on Neural Networks.

Research Areas

Mathematical algorithms, computational methods, including linear algebra, eigendecomposition, text mining, machine learning, network science, and numerical optimization


Ph.D. Epidemiology-Biostatistics, The University of Texas Health Science Center

M.P.H. Radiological Physics, University of Michigan

B.S. Nuclear Medicine, Ferris State University

Societies & Organizations

Senior Member, Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Member, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS)

Member, International Neural Network Society, Biopattern Special Interest Group (SIG)

Honors & Awards

2000 Young Investigators Program Award, Health Effects of Former Soviet Union Nuclear Testing in Kazakhstan, National Research Council. Sponsored by National Academy of Sciences

1995 Program Scholar, Effects of Ionizing Radiation: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors and Their Children, Sponsored by First Annual Schull Symposium


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