Richard Vale

In 2014 I am a Lecturer in the Statistics Department at the University of Canterbury. I have a PhD in mathematics from the University of Glasgow (2007) and was an HC Wang Assistant Professor at Cornell University. Previously I studied at the University of Auckland and the University of Cambridge (Part III Mathematics, aka M.A.St 2003). I have taught at Oberlin College, the University of Auckland, and AUT.

Contact details

Room 612 Erskine Building
Phone: +64 3 364 2987 ext 7665
Email: (first name) dot (last name)


  • Semester 1 2014: STAT 315 Multivariate Statistical Methods materials from my part of the course
  • Semester 2 2014: EMTH211 Engineering Linear Algebra and Statistics notes (pdf) for the stats section


    I am planning to attend the joint NZSA/ORSNZ conference in November and to present a discussion of a network imputation problem at the CMSS summer worskop on December 9-10 2014.

    I have recently been working on Bayesian modelling of Game of Thrones and some results, including a paper and code, can be found here. Here is a link to the paper (pdf) which contains spoilers for all five of the books (if you haven't read them, click with caution.)

    This work has attracted some media attention and was featured in the Wall Street Journal and Wired among others. I also wrote an article about it for the Huffington Post. Here are the slides (pdf) from a public lecture I gave about it. There is also a Youtube video from the lecture.

    I have also recently been working with Rachel Fewster on capture-recpature models with applications to whales. Our paper:

    Vale, R.T.R., Fewster, R.M., Carroll, E.L., and Patenaude, N.J. Maximum likelihood inference for model Mt,a for capture-recapture data with misidentification. Biometrics, in press, 2014. Full text (PDF) and Web Appendix. Also slides from a talk I gave at CREEM, St. Andrews in July 2014.

    In Febraury 2014 I gave a seminar at The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on copula methods and interactive statistical graphics using Javascript and Canvas.

  • Tutorial on making an animated time series in html. Aimed at those with R experience.
  • Paper from the 2013 NZSA/ORSNZ conference.


    A Javascript program which plays the 17th century card game Put is available here. For more information about the game, see the Put page at

    Lecture Notes

  • Notes on finite-dimensional algebras (96 pages) from Math 7350, Cornell 2009.
  • Notes on quasi-free algebras (51 pages) from (a different) Math 7350, Cornell 2009.