Chris von Csefalvay

MA (Oxon) BCL (Oxon) FRSPH FRSA MCIArb MTOPRA
ORCID: 0000-0003-3131-0864 | Scopus | Google Scholar | DBLP | ISNI | VIAF
Author pages: Elsevier | Amazon | Goodreads

Born on 15 July, 1986, in Budapest, Hungary and educated at Oxford, Leiden and Cardiff, Chris von Csefalvay (he/him) is a data scientist/computational epidemiologist focusing on infectious diseases and quantitative pharmacovigilance. His work on COVID-19 has been featured in a number of international media outlets and national television.

Early life and career

Chris von Csefalvay was born in Budapest, Hungary, the son of the diplomat and civil servant Zoltan Csefalvay and the social scientist Anna Maria Bartal. After living in a handful of countries, he attended Thomas Mann Gymnasium in Budapest, where he graduated with the class of ’05. Chris von Csefalvay matriculated at University College, Oxford, in 2005, and graduated with a top 1st in 2009.

Chris von Csefalvay, rowing for Merton College, Oxford

In 2006, he was an intern at the European Parliament with the office of the late Etelka Barsi-Pataky, MEP, where he was instrumental in reviewing evidence for the EU’s Galileo global positioning satellite programme. He went on to graduate from Cardiff Law School’s Legal Practice Course, and returned to Oxford in 2010 for his graduate degree.

After completing his BCL, he joined the City of London law firm of Dechert LLP and completed the requirements to qualify as a solicitor in 2013. He then embarked upon a career in data science, rapidly rising through the ranks. Following a career in corporate law and later in analysis, Chris von Csefalvay held a range of senior corporate data science roles, including as RB plc’s first Chief Data Scientist. An appointment to a senior data science position at Volkswagen’s Munich Data Lab followed, after which he worked in various senior roles in computational epidemiology for the healthcare industry. From 2018 to 2022, he has served as VP of Special Projects of Starschema, a transatlantic IT professional services company headquartered in Arlington, VA, where he advises some of the world’s leading companies on getting value out of their data. His clients come predominantly, but not exclusively, from the healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceuticals sectors. After Starschema’s acquisition by HCLTech, he was appointed the Practice Director responsible for AI, ML and data science applications in the medical technology and healthcare domain in October 2022.

Awards and recognition

The author of numerous studies and research papers, he is a one-time winner of the Martin Wronker Prize at the University of Oxford, along with the Field Fisher Waterhouse Prize, the University College Prize and the Allen & Overy Prize. As a graduate student at Merton College, Oxford, he held both the Barnett Bequest and the Falcon Chambers scholarship, one of very few graduate students to have ever done so, followed by earning distinctions on both undergraduate and graduate work. Currently, Chris von Csefalvay is a visiting lecturer in mathematics and data science at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, where he is supervising several BSc thesis students every year. He has also been a speaker at a large number of conferences and professional gatherings.

Chris von Csefalvay interviewed on national television on the COVID-19 pandemic

Chris von Csefalvay has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 2015, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in 2021, making him one of the youngest-ever FRSPHs. In addition, he is also a Member of The Association for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs, the OR Society and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a proud alumnus of the COVID Tracking Project and Starschema’s lead within the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition spearheaded by MITRE.

Chris von Csefalvay interviewed on Euronews about predictive models for COVID-19.

He’s also credited for an unusually pretty sequence of numbers called Jellyfish Heart numbers (OEIS A344856). Perhaps more quaintly, he was a member of his college’s croquet 1st IV, and holds the dubious distinction of having written the first essay to both win the University College Essay Prize in Law and be published in a law review.

Chris von Csefalvay’s research

Chris von Csefalvay’s artificial intelligence research is largely focused on computer vision, in particular applications of computer vision that involve medical imagery, from cytopathological specimens to the complexity of MRI scans and ultrasound recordings.

His research in public health focuses on early isolation of pharmacovigilance signals, with a special emphasis on VAERS, and the quantitative prediction of infectious disease. You can read more about that here. He is the author of The Computational Modeling of Infectious Disease (Elsevier, 2023).

Personal life

Chris von Csefalvay and his wife, Kathryn von Csefalvay

Chris von Csefalvay shares his life with his wife Kathryn von Csefalvay, an illustrator and art historian, and their Golden Retriever, Oliver (aka Blissful Goldens Amber Shine). They live in Great Falls, Virginia, since 2020. In his spare time, Chris von Csefalvay enjoys horticulture, hashing, rowing, cycling and spending time with their dog.

Chris von Csefalvay does not have any social media other than Instagram and LinkedIn. Any Twitter accounts claiming to be him are impersonations, and best ignored.

Chris von Csefalvay in the media

Pronunciation guide

From time to time, I am asked how to pronounce my name (I admit, it’s one of the less straightforward ones). There are roughly two main ways to pronounce my name, and both are equally valid. Myself and my wife both follow the first alternative. My dad uses the second.

  • /vɔːn ‘ʧeɪfʊlweɪ / (listen) – ‘waun CHAY-full-way’, roughly –, or
  • /fɔːn ‘tʃeɪfɒlvɒi/ (listen) – ‘phon CHEH-fall-wah-yee’, more or less.