Peter Chi, Ph.D.
AssistantAssociate Professor of Statistics (effective August 22, 2022)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Villanova University

Office: 367 St. Augustine Center (SAC)
Phone: 610-519-7336
Address: 800 Lancaster Avenue; Villanova, PA 19085
email: peter dot chi at villanova dot edu

About me
I am an Assistant Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Villanova University.

Trained as a biostatistician, my primary research interests are in evolutionary biology and phylogenetics, with an eye towards applying the concepts from these fields to the improvement of public health outcomes. Specifically, progression of certain diseases that are bacterial or viral leave behind evidence of their evolutionary history, and can be modeled via the tools of phylogenetics.

Some of this ongoing work is in collaboration with the Liberles Research Group at Temple University.

I also have strong interests in poker and other games of chance. I enjoy writing non-scholarly articles about poker from the perspective of a statistician (see below), and also bringing these concepts into the classroom.

In particular, in the Fall of 2017 at Ursinus College, I taught a probability course that used Texas Hold'em as the framework for nearly every example throughout the course. This was based on a textbook called Introduction to Probability with Texas Hold'em Examples by Dr. Frederic Paik Schoenberg in the Department of Statistics at UCLA. I documented my experience throughout that semester on my blog. I was also interviewed about this on the Thinking Poker Podcast, and you can find my episode here.

Ph.D. Biostatistics, University of Washington, 2013
M.H.S. Genetic Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, 2006
B.S. Cell/Molecular Biology, University of Michigan, 2003
Full CV

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
  • Merz DW, Chi PB. Knowing When to Fold'em: A Monte Carlo exploration of card shuffling and how poker players can gain an advantage. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal. Accepted for publication on 6/8/2022.
  • Chi PB, Kosater WM, Liberles DA. Detecting signatures of positive selection against a backdrop of compensatory processes. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 2020 Jul; msaa161. pdf
  • Chi PB, Kim D, Lai JK, Bykova N, Weber CC, Kubelka J, Liberles DA. A new parameter-rich structure-aware mechanistic model for amino acid substitution during evolution. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics. 2018 Feb; 86(2):218-228. pdf
  • Orlenko A, Chi PB, Liberles DA. Characterizing the roles of changing population size and selection on the evolution of flux control in metabolic pathways. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2017 May 25;17(1):117. pdf
  • Doi J, Potter G, Wong J, Alcaraz I, Chi P. Web application teaching tools for statistics using R and shiny. Technology Innovations in Statistics Education. 2016; 9(1). pdf
  • Chi PB, Chattopadhyay S, Lemey P, Sokurenko EV, Minin VM. Synonymous and Nonsynonymous Distances Help Untangle Convergent Evolution and Recombination. Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology. 2015 Aug 1; 14(4): 375-389. pdf

Poker Publications
  • Texas Hold'em Poker: A Tool for Teaching Statistics.; August 23, 2017. link
  • A Brief Statistical Analysis for Prediction of the 2015 WSOP Main Event Field Size.; May 28, 2015. link
  • Is Poker Good for a Casino?; Jul 4, 2014. link
  • $10 Million Up Top: Will the WSOP Guarantee "Work"?; Feb 26, 2014. link