Professor William Browne


Bill Browne is Professor of Statistics in the School of Education, University of Bristol. He studied all his degrees at the University of Bath finishing his PhD in the maths school in 1998. He has been a professor at Bristol for 11.5 years having spent seven years at the School of Veterinary Science as Professor of Biostatistics before moving to Education. He also was the founding director of the Jean Golding Institute for Data Intensive research from 2015-2017. 

These days he co-directs the Centre for Multilevel Modelling and his research interests are in statistical methods, software and applications. He developed the Bayesian MCMC functionality of the MLwiN software package and has published methodology papers on multilevel modelling as well as applied papers in a variety of disciplines. More recently he has become interested in teaching of statistics and the role of automation in both statistical analysis and teaching which is the topic of his fellowship.

Research interests

Bill Browne's Turing fellowship is looking at how we might bridge the statistical skills gap through automation and improved statistical training. This works builds on a recently completed British Academy grant that created functionality in the StatJR software package to automate the production of teaching materials that use the SPSS software package.

Within the fellowship there are several strands: looking into translation across software packages; translation across different disciplines; adaptation of materials for assessment purposes; investigating what we can learn about teaching from automation and conversely what we can learn about data science training from education research. Bill hopes to work with Ben Murton at the Turing to bring together researchers and funders from different disciplines to share ideas about statistical training.