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Eric McKinney

Eric McKinney

PhD Statistics

Contact Information


About Me

Hi, I’m Eric. I am a PhD student in statistics at USU. I am from Liberty, Utah, and I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, outdoor walks in Cache Valley, and bird watching.

Research Focus/Study

My current research involves eye-tracking, spatial statistics, and visualizations. Check out my website ( for more details about my research and teaching. My advisor is Dr. Jürgen Symanzik ( and main collaborator is Dr. Breanna Studenka (

Why I Came to USU

The department of Mathematics and Statistics at USU is amazing. Not only are there a variety of research interests among the faculty (who are all approachable), but the administrative staff and fellow graduate students are both welcoming and supportive. Additionally, the low cost-of-living combined with the financial support of the department will enable me to graduate with no student debt. Plus, Cache Valley is beautiful.

Noteworthy Items

- Presented Research at JSM 2019 in Denver, CO.
- Completed a Statistical Analyst Internship at Intermountain Healthcare (Summer 2018).
- Publication in International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials as first author (Spring 2019).
- Co-author to two JSM papers (2017 & 2018) in eye-tracking.
- Founder and former president of USU's Data Science Group (ASA student chapter) featured in AMSTAT News (Spring 2019).
- Awarded Outstanding Graduate Poster Presentation from USU's Student Research Symposium 2018.
- Three time Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award (2017, 2018, 2019).
- Outstanding Graduate Student Award 2016. (See for more information.)