Two Department of Statistics Alumni Named as AAAS Fellows

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Welcome to New AAAS Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society. It is a remarkable accomplishment to be chosen as an AAAS Fellow. To be admitted into the 140-year-old organization, nominees are reviewed by steering groups within their particular sections, and a final list is then forwarded to the AAAS Council, who then votes on the aggregate list. The Department of Statistics is proud to see two of our alumni bestowed with such a prestigious honor: Dr. Susmita Datta and Dr. Sanjay Shete.

Now a professor at the University of Louisville in the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, Datta was elected as an AAAS Fellow for her contributions to research in bioinformatics, computational biology, and biostatistics. She is also a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. She currently serves as president of the Caucus for Women in Statistics. Datta received both her MS '90 and her PhD '95 from UGA Department of Statistics.

Shete, who received his PhD '98 from the UGA Department of Statistics, is a genetic epidemiologist and the section chief of behavioral and social statistics at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is the principal investigator for a number of research projects at MD Anderson Cancer Center as well as the university’s director of the biostatistics, bioinformatics, and systems biology program at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Datta and Shete will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin — the colors representing the disciplines of science and engineering — on Saturday, February 14, during the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California.

Congratulations to Dr. Susmita Datta and Dr. Sanjay Shete for your continued success and advancement. And as always, Go Dawgs!

Wenxuan Zhong receives $1.44 million NIH grant

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DNA methylation has been newly discovered as a key controller in gene transcription too. Aberrant DNA methylation changes can cause a number of human diseases such as developmental diseases (ICF syndrome, Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes etc), ag- ing related diseases (i.e. Alzheimer’s disease), heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Moreover, large amount of evidence implicated that DNA methylation is a key player in cancer development. Dr. Zhong will develop a suite of statistical models to broaden our understanding of how methylation patterns are established and maintained during normal development and under different environmental conditions.  Click here to read more.



SCC SAS Analytics Shootout Team Wins First Place

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


It was announced Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at the SAS Analytics 2014 Conference that the UGA Statistical Consulting Center’s 2014 SAS Analytics Shootout team has won first place in the competition.

Congratulations again to all involved!

Congratulations to the SCC's SAS Analytics Shootout Team!

Monday, September 15, 2014

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A team of students from the Statistical Consulting Center, led by Wenbo Wu (with faculty advisor Dr. Jaxk Reeves), has placed in the top three teams in the SAS Analytics Shootout. The winner will be announced at the SAS Analytics 2014 Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, held on October 20 and 21. The top three teams’ universities also receive donations from SAS of up to $5,000.00. This year’s project required the team to model various crimes as a function of time, weather, demographic information, and other phenomena in multiple cities, and to recommend plans of action to prevent and deter these crimes based on future prediction of those variables.

Other team members included Hejiao Hu, Linwei Hu, Lina Liao, Fei Liu, Xijue Tan, and Guannan Wang. This is only the second year that an SCC team has participated in the Shootout.

Congratulations to our team, and good luck at the Analytics 2014 Conference!

Pengsheng Ji Named 2014-2015 Teaching Academy Fellow

Thursday, September 11, 2014


The Teaching Academy Fellows Program is an early career mentoring program at the University of Georgia. Only twenty faculty members are selected for the Fellows Program which is coordinated by UGA’s Teaching Academy with funding support from the Office of the Provost and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The mission of the Teaching Academy is to promote and celebrate excellence in teaching, and to foster learning through inquiry. The Fellows Program specifically addresses the Academy’s goal of fostering a community of scholars who are committed to teaching by working with a select group of early career faculty to discuss teaching.   The selection of Pengsheng for this program is a mark of his amazing potential and we wish him our warmest congratulations.

More information about the history and mission of the Teaching Academy may be found at