Departmental Notes and Headlines
Professor and Department Head
Departments change over time, and ours is no exception. Programs are added or deleted, program requirements change, courses are developed or revised, and perhaps most importantly, people come and go. If you have not been to Athens recently, then the Department that you remember is almost certainly quite different from the current one.
Newsletters highlight some of the more prominent changes, but can only do so piecemeal. The best way to learn about today’s Department of Statistics is to come and visit us. We would love to see you here, but realize that most of you, just like most of us, have very busy lives, in some cases quite far from Athens. The next best way to learn about who we are today is to visit the Department’s website at http://www.stat.uga.edu/. Designed for easy navigation, it offers a wealth of information about the programs, the courses, and the people. If you are a bit like me, then you will be curious to see how things have changed since your days at UGA.
For example, did you know that we now feature a required year-long writing-intensive Capstone sequence (STAT 5010/5020) for our undergraduate majors? Or that we now offer five different tracks, based on area of application, for our Master’s degree? Or that we have a new design and analysis of experiments course (STAT 6430) for statistics graduate students? Or that the Department currently houses 24 faculty and 4 staff members?
This information, and much more, is readily available as part of a more comprehensive sketch of the Department that is provided on the website. Under the News tab, you can also find updates from many alumni there, and we would welcome information from you as well. You may use the online form on the website to provide us with updates, or just drop us a note at email@example.com.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce two new faculty members to you, both of whom joined us in August of 2011. Jennifer Kaplan is an assistant professor with an interest in statistics education. Jennifer holds a 2006 Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas, and spent several years on the faculty at Michigan State University before joining us. Liang Liu, also an assistant professor, holds a joint appointment between Statistics and the Institute of Bioinformatics. Liang also received his Ph.D. in 2006, in Biostatistics from The Ohio State University. He joined us from Delaware State University, where he had just moved after spending 3 years as a postdoc at Harvard University. We are delighted that they have become part of our faculty.
We also congratulate some faculty with their new ranks. Starting August 2011, Xiangrong Yin earned the well-deserved rank of professor, while both Abhyuday Mandal and Cheolwoo Park became associate professors with tenure. Congratulations to all! For various awards and accomplishments of the faculty, refer to the relevant articles in this newsletter and to the News section of our website.
Across the nation, funds provided by the states to state universities are on the decline. Georgia and UGA are no exception. The funds provided by the state to UGA have gone down by more than 25% over the last 3 years, resulting in less than 30% of UGA’s total budget coming from the state of Georgia. These cuts have in part been offset by raises in tuition and fees. However, private donations have become essential in supporting the mission of the university and its colleges and departments.
The Department of Statistics has five funds to which donations can be made. I would like to highlight these funds and their purpose.
The Statistics Fund. This is a general purpose fund that can be used for travel support for students, refreshments for seminars, awards for students, equipment and supplies, and other items deemed appropriate by the Franklin College.
The Bradley Fund. This fund is in the form of an endowed account, meaning that only the interest generated from the principal amount can be spent. The interest of this fund, originally established by former faculty member Dr. Ralph Bradley, is primarily used in partial support of the Bradley Lecture. This annual student focused lecture features very prominent speakers, and is co-sponsored with funds provided by the Statistics Club and the Department.
The Hutcheson Award Fund. This fund, established by emeritus faculty member Dr. Kermit Hutcheson, is meant to provide an annual award to a student selected by a faculty committee appointed by the head. The criteria for the award includes academic standing, enthusiasm for the field of statistics, and character of the recipient. Starting in academic year 2012-2013, the award recipient will be a student chosen based on these criteria from our Capstone course, and will receive a $500 award. (More about the Capstone course can be found in this Newsletter under news about the Undergraduate Program.)
The Bargmann Fund. This fund, named after former faculty member Dr. Rolf Bargmann, can be used to support the renovation and maintenance of the Bargmann Laboratory, which is the computer laboratory for our graduate students, and to provide travel support for graduate students.
The Cohen Fund. Named after former faculty member Dr. A. Clifford Cohen, the purpose of this fund is renovation and maintenance of the Cohen Room, which is used as a reading room for refreshments after seminars, and for special gatherings.
With repeated cuts over the last years in the Department’s operating budget, these funds have become more and more critical to support scholarly activities and to reward students who excel in the pursuit of these activities. If you are in a position to contribute to one of these funds, or to help establish a new fund, then I encourage you to give this your utmost consideration. I would be happy to discuss this with you. If you work for a company with a matching gifts program, you may be able to multiply the impact of your gift. Departments can benefit greatly from the generosity of their alumni, and any gifts small or large, are put to excellent use and are very much appreciated.
If you work for a company that offers internship positions for undergraduate or graduate students, this might be another way in which you can help us. Internships can be a very valuable experience for students, and we have many students who are interested in competing for internships. We would love to hear from you if you know of any such positions.
The Department plans to organize an event for alumni and friends at the 2012 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in San Diego. The format will be different from the receptions that we held at the JSM in 2009, 2010 and 2011, but the details are not known at the time of writing. As soon as we have more information, we will post it on our website and Facebook page. So please stay tuned!
Hopefully you will enjoy the pages of this newsletter, and please do stay in touch.
Faculty Awards and Honors
The Department wishes to congratulate the following award winners and honorees:
External Awards and Honors
NSF Career Award:
Janet L. Norwood Award:
Isaac Newton Institute Rothschild Distinguished Visiting Fellow:
Internal Awards and Honors
Franklin College Research and Seed Grant Award:
Sarah Moss Fellowship:
M.G. Michael Award:
Staff Profile: Daphney Smith
Daphney Smith is the Department’s student affairs professional and front desk person. She is likely the first person to greet new students, visitors and lost souls. Her smile and demeanor create a great first impression of the Department. Daphney has been with the Department since 2002, and will have her 20th anniversary at UGA in December! She works very closely with students, staying in touch with them from the time they submit their application for admission until the time they receive their degree. Once students arrive at UGA, they invariably realize how beneficial and important Daphney’s support is to their ultimate success. Daphney has three children – Ivy, Whitley, and Brittney. Ivy attended Savannah State University; Whitley is a sophomore at Fort Valley State University; and Brittney is a freshman at Albany State University. Daphney also has a one-year old grandson named Keion, and in her spare time, she enjoys his company and traveling. Her favorite destinations are Jacksonville, FL and San Diego, CA.
Statistical Consulting Center
Kim Love-Myers, Associate Director of the Statistical Consulting Center
The 2011-2012 academic year has been another year of growth for the Statistical Consulting Center (SCC). Under the direction of Dr. Jaxk Reeves and Dr. Kim Love-Myers, the SCC has continued to work with clients from various units within the university, as well as outside academic clients and corporate clients. The SCC has maintained collaborative relationships with the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Odum School of Ecology, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, the SCC has branched out through involvement in planning for the Quantitative Biology Consulting Group, which brings together existing research support groups such as the SCC, the Georgia Center for Research Computing (GACRC), the Georgia Genomics Facility (GGF), the Biostatistics Consulting Service (BCS) and the Institute of Bioinformatics (IOB) in order to collaborate effectively with university researchers in biological areas. The SCC has also seen an increase in funding through ongoing relationships with several corporate clients.
Seven students from the Department of Statistics are supported on consulting assistantships: Yi Chen, Wenting Fan, Xinyu Liu, Jin Tang, Emmanuel Tuglo, Guannan Wang, and Wenbo Wu. A similar number of students have volunteered to work with the UGA SCC in varying capacities. As in previous years, our graduate consultants have made excellent contributions to the work of the SCC.
The SCC looks forward to continuing our consulting mission and continuing to grow with support from the Graduate School, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.
Design and Analysis of Experiments Conference 2012
October 17-20, 2012
Georgia Center for Continuing Education
Hosted by the
UGA Department of Statistics,
John Stufken and Abhyuday Mandal
For more information, please see http://www.stat.uga.edu/dae2012
Lily Wang, Assistant Professor
Cheolwoo Park, Associate Professor
The UGA Department of Statistics enjoyed another great series of colloquium seminars in 2011-12. On top of the regular seminar series, the department hosted a joint UGA-Clemson seminar, hosted the Bradley Lecture series, and recruited two faculty positions. Most of the invited speakers were from outside Georgia and while here, they interacted with our faculty and graduate students, and learned about our department, university, and the town of Athens.
A total of thirteen talks were held during the 2011 fall semester. Eight of the invited speakers were from academia, three of them were from industry, and two of them were from federal government agencies. The talks covered a wide range of topics and expertise, from theoretical foundations to applications, with projects in experimental design, survey sampling, survival data analysis, random networks, variable selection, semi-parametric regression and several other areas.
The 2012 Spring Colloquium Series was full of events. Fourteen regular seminar talks varied from climate change study to application of data depth to imaging data analysis to statistical education, while featuring outstanding speakers including Xuming He from University of Michigan, Regina Liu from Rutgers University, and Roger Woodard from North Carolina State University. Besides the regular Colloquium Series, the department had eight job talks in the areas of mathematical statistics and teaching introductory statistics to fill a new assistant professor position in mathematical statistics and to replace an academic professional position due to the retirement of Chandler Pike. The department also hosted a joint UGA-Clemson statistics seminar in March at the UGA Botanical Gardens with the distinguished speaker Tailen Hsing from the University of Michigan. In April, the department and the graduate student Stat Club will co-sponsor the annual Bradley Lecture in honor of the late Professor Ralph A. Bradley. This year Dennis Cook from the University of Minnesota will give research and dinner talks and will meet with our faculty and graduate students. The Stat Club will also continue our tradition of hosting a picnic on the day following the Bradley Lecture with the speaker.
We encourage you to visit http://www.stat.uga.edu/research/colloquia to keep up with our Colloquium Series. There you will find full details for all the talks in the series including their scheduling, talk titles and abstracts, and links to the speakers’ webpages at their home institutions. Please support the Department of Statistics at UGA. Your support will help the Colloquium Series continue to enhance the educational experience of our students, provide research opportunities for our faculty, and enrich the academic environment of the department.
2011-2012 Colloquium Speakers:
Fall Semester 2011
Yan Daniel Zhao, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Health Sciences Center
Jane-Ling Wang, University of California, Davis
Hyonho Chun, Purdue University
Yi Li, University of Michigan
Xiaobo Ding, University of Washington
Warren Kuhfeld, SAS Institute
Haiyan Cai, National Science Foundation
Mi-Ok Kim, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Lianming Wang, University of South Carolina
Ana-Maria Staicu, North Carolina State University
MoonJung Cho, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Hanxiang Peng, IUPUI
William A. Brenneman, The Procter & Gamble Company
Spring Semester 2012
Ji Meng Loh, AT&T Labs Research
M. Reza Meshkani, Shahid Beheshti University
Dennis Cook, University of Minnesota
Ping Ma, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Yongtao Guan, Yale University
Tailen Hsing, University of Michigan
Chanseok Park, Clemson University
Jian Kang, Emory University
Regina Liu, Rutgers University
Wenxuan Zhong, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Xuming He, University of Michigan
Roger Woodard, North Carolina State University
Luyan Dai, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Statistics Club Update
Chris O’Neal, Graduate Teaching Assistant & Statistics Club President
This year the Statistics Club hosted several fun social activities including a bowling tournament, mini golf contests, potluck dinners, and trivia games. Once or twice a semester the graduate students and professors took part in a bowling tournament and a trophy was awarded to the person with the highest mean score. In November, the club hosted the Department’s traditional International Potluck Dinner, in which students and faculty showed off their cooking skills. Also during dinner, the students and faculty played an international-themed trivia game. Finally, this spring the club played its own version of the TV game show Deal Or No Deal, which is based entirely on probability and expected values.
Another important event hosted annually by the Department of Statistics and the Statistics Club is the Bradley Lecture. This year, the 20th annual Bradley Lecture was held on Friday, April 13, 2012 at a new location, the Hotel Indigo in downtown Athens. We encourage you to mark the calendar for next year’s event and plan on visiting us here in Athens. The guest speaker for this year’s event was Professor Dennis Cook of the University of Minnesota. His talk focused on “Envelope Models and Methods”. The faculty and graduate students had dinner with Dr. Cook at Hotel Indigo’s Rialto Room, during which time he presented his after-dinner talk on “Dimensions of Statistics”. The following afternoon, the Department hosted its annual picnic at Memorial Park. This is a fun gathering in which the graduate students are given an opportunity to interact with the guest speaker in an informal setting.
Statistics News Spring 2012, Volume 5
- Department Head: John Stufken |
- Business Manager: Timothy Cheek |
- Newsletter Editor: Julie Davis
Contributors: Timothy Cheek, Julie Davis, Christine Franklin, Daniel Hall, Jennifer Kaplan, Yehua Li, Kim Love-Myers, Chris O’Neal, Cheolwoo Park, Lynne Seymour, John Stufken, Lily Wang