Researcher returning to Hilo for data science program launch

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669
Dir, Media Rel, University Relations
Posted: May 22, 2017

Grady Weyenberg
Grady Weyenberg

A statistical researcher who grew up in Hilo is the first faculty member hired to create a new Data Science program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. The program is funded through UH Hilo’s participation in the $20 million `Ike Wai project awarded to the state last year by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

Dr. Grady Weyenberg, who assumes his duties on August 1, is the first of four tenure-track assistant professors the University will hire in mathematics, computer science and the natural and social sciences by late 2019. The new hires will work with existing faculty to develop a Data Science Certificate Program, followed by a baccalaureate degree. In addition to developing curricula, they will also teach courses and mentor students. 

Data Science students will analyze data sets generated by the `Ike Wai project’s five-year study to create a data-driven, sustainable water future for the state of Hawaiʻi and its Pacific neighbors and those from previous EPSCoR-funded projects. They will also have opportunities to hone their data analysis skills by supporting the University’s active research faculty, whose projects generate large amounts of data. 

Weyenberg was born on Maui, but came to Hilo at an early age and attended Waiakeawaena, Waiakea Intermediate and Waiakea High School before relocating to Arizona for his final two years of high school. Weyenberg has been a research assistant in the Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom since 2015. He previously taught various statistics courses and held related research appointments at the University of Kentucky from 2010 - 2015.

Weyenberg has co-authored several studies on statistical methods for analyzing the evolutionary relationships between organisms, which were published in Bioinformatics and Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. His research projects in Bristol include studies of the genetic diversity and structure of the British Isles and Europe.

Weyenberg earned a Ph.D. and Master`s degree in statistics from the University of Kentucky, along with Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Arizona.

For more information on the Data Science program and the `Ike Wai project, visit