Marcela Alfaro Córdoba

Assistant Teaching Professor of Statistics

University of California, Santa Cruz


Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is interested in developing novel statistical methods to address scientific questions related to the environment, and turning those experiences of interdisciplinary collaboration into teaching methods for statistics and data science. Her areas of application include climate models, biophysics, spectrophotometry, among others.

Marcela is committed to practicing open science and she believes in mentoring young scientists. Her volunteering activities include being a co-chair of CODATA-RDA Schools of Data Science, being part of the organizing committee of ConectaR2019 and ConectaR2021, the first R Users Conference in Central America. She is a founding member of the R-ladies chapter in San José, Costa Rica.


  • Spatiotemporal Statistical Modeling
  • Functional Data Analysis
  • Computational Statistics
  • Reproducible Science
  • Statistics and Data Science Education


  • Ph.D. in Statistics, 2017

    North Carolina State University

  • M.Sc. in Statistics, 2009

    Iowa State University

  • B.Sc. in Statistics, 2007

    Universidad de Costa Rica

Recent Publications

An intentional AI for hanabi.

The work in this paper is an experimental design to test an AI agent.




Work with atmospherical data from the Centro de Investigaciones Geofísicas.

Traducción colaborativa de R4DS al español

Este proyecto tiene por objetivo desarrollar una traducción colaborativa del libro R for Data Science para la comunidad …


Spatiotemporal modeling at the Centro de Investigaciones en Matemática Pura y Aplicada (UCR).


Working group that organizes the CODATA-RDA Summer Schools in Research Data Science.


Microspectrophotometer data from the Centro de Investigaciones en Ingeniería de Materiales (UCR).

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Experiencias en Investigación Multidisciplinaria

Una narración de mi experiencia como investigadora en proyectos multidisciplinarios.

Materiales para taller de Ciencia Abierta

Presentación utilizada en el taller de Author Carpentry en el IIP, en el marco de la Semana de Acceso Abierto.



Assistant Professor

Universidad de Costa Rica

Jun 2017 – Feb 2021 San José, Costa Rica
Responsibilities include:

  • Teaching 300 level statistics classes: Probability Models and Stats Theory.
  • Teaching 500 level statistics classes: Applied Spatial Analysis, and Design of Experiments for Computer Science.
  • Conducting research for three research groups: spatiotemporal modeling (CIMPA), microspectrophotometer data (CICIMA) and atmospherical data (CIGEFI).
  • Organizing conferences: ConectaR, SIMMAC, RDA Plenary, among others.
  • Service in both CIMPA and Escuela de Estadística.

Research Assistant

North Carolina State University

Jul 2013 – May 2017 Raleigh, USA
Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting the Seasonal hurricane forecast for the Atlantic Region.
  • Presenting in the reading and research groups for the Environmetal Stats Lab.
  • Conducting research related to dissertation.
  • Managing one undergrad assistant.

Visiting Instructor

Universidad de Costa Rica

Jul 2009 – Jul 2011 San José, Costa Rica
Responsibilities include:

  • Teaching Stat 101 classes for Business majors.
  • Teaching 300 and 400 level statistics classes: Multivariate Data Analysis, and Experimental Design.
  • Teaching 500 level statistics classes: Intro to Bayesian Stats, and Categorical Data Analysis.