About the Center for Statistics


The Center for Statistics of Ghent University is a formal UGent expert center uniting the several statistics research centers from the different UGent faculties. The Center for Statistics aims at educating and consulting.

    In 2001, the Ghent Center for Statistics joined the Institute for Continuing Education of the Faculty of Sciences (ICES) to organize their yearly series of targeted training modules.

    An inter-university training network FLAMES (Flanders' Training Network for Methodology and Statistics) was established in 2013 providing statistical training for doctoral students.

    In 2015, the 10th anniversary of the Master of Statistical Data Analysis was celebrated. Since 2016, the program has been restructured to two major tracks, a major Statistical Science and a major Computational Statistics.


    The center also coordinates a statistical support service FIRE (Fostering Innovative Research based on Evidence) for UGent PhD students.

    Stat-Gent CRESCENDO (CREdible SCientific Evidence for New Discoveries and Outcomes) is a consortium of the industrial research fund. An initiative to turn academic expertise into added value for industry and society. This valorizes UGent expertise in statistics and data analysis by providing a flexible interface for contract work.

    Meet the team of consultants:

    Bob.JPGBob De Clercq has a PhD in Bioscience Engineering and a Master in Statistical Data Analysis. After spending more than a decade in industry, he found his way back “home”. He has a broad interest in R&D in many areas of technology, with passion for modelling and data sciences. Besides statistics, he shows a large interest in machine learning.

    Dries ReyndersAfter obtaining a Master’s degree in Physics, a Master in Statistical Data Analysis provided Dries Reynders an even broader field to model and explore reality with mathematical tools. His main area of expertise are clinical trials, survival analysis and causal inference of observational data.

    Emmanuel AbatihEmmanuel Abatih has Masters in Applied Statistics, Biostatistics and Statistical Bio-informatics all from Hasselt University (Belgium). His PhD, obtained in Denmark, was on the application of statistical methods in the field of Veterinary Epidemiology. He has broad teaching and consulting experience in statistics. His main areas of expertise are risk analysis, statistical modelling of multivariate data and software training in R, SAS and STATA.

    Jef VlegelsJef Vlegels (PhD) has a Master in Sociology and Applied statistics. His research background is situated in sociology of education, cultural sociology and the sociology of education, focusing on methodological and statistical innovations in the field. Among other things, he is an expert in survey methodology, mixed models and (social) network analysis.

    Limin LiuLimin Liu, a Shanghai city native, studied social work and sociology in Beijing and Berlin. After finishing her doctoral dissertation on the educational inequality in the access to elite higher education, she relocated to Europe and continued her study in the field of sociology of education in Germany and Belgium successively. Upon her empirical research experience in sociology, she accomplished the MaNaMa training in Statistical Data Analysis at Ghent University. Now she is a statistician with social science background and is interested in both quantitative and qualitative methods.

    Tine WillemsTine Willems has a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy and a Master in Statistical Data Analysis. Her research background is situated in sports injury risk factors determination and the consequences / treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. She has several years of experience in clinical trials and is most familiar with regression and survival analysis.

    The team is supported by expert supervisors:

    • Prof. Christophe Ley
    • Prof. Dries Benoit
    • Prof. Els Goetghebeur – Director
    • Prof. Jan De Neve
    • Prof. Luc Duchateau
    • Prof. Ronan Van Rossem
    • Prof. Stijn Vansteelandt
    • Prof. Yves Rosseel


    Two series of seminars are organized on regular basis: statistical lectures known as Quetelet seminars, and Nightingale seminars where findings of a particular study are presented from both a domain expert and a statistician.

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