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UGA welcomed academic, industry partners for Georgia Statistics Day

Katie Cowart

Faculty members, students and visitors gathered for the 2022 Georgia Statistics Day (GSD) hosted by the department of statistics.

The GSD is an annual event designed to promote interdisciplinary statistics research among the three flagship academic institutions in Georgia – the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Emory University. 

UGA hosted the inaugural GSD in 2015 to serve as a platform for bringing together senior and junior researchers from academia and industry to discuss the latest developments in statistics and network with each other. 

“The overwhelming participation of around 180 participants from different universities within and outside Georgia, several industry sponsors and government organizations made the event a roaring success,” said Abhyuday Mandal, professor and undergraduate coordinator in the department of statistics at UGA. “I was highly impressed with the quality of the posters presented by the 35 graduate and 8 undergraduate students. The invited talks covered a wide range of topics and fostered interdisciplinary collaborative research among the participants. Our students and alumni appreciated their exposure to the ever-expanding world of statistics and data science.”

Professor Nilanjan Chatterjee from John Hopkins University was the keynote speaker. Chatterjee is Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of biostatistics and genetic epidemiology with appointments in the department of biostatistics in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and in the department of oncology in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Chatterjee is known for his work in quantitative genetics, cancer research, statistical methodology, genomics, and genome-wide association studies. He has received numerous awards including the COPSS Presidents’ Award for the top statistician internationally under the age of 41. 

Chatterjee was joined by three distinguished speakers. Liang Liu is a professor in the department of statistics and institute of bioinformatics at UGA. Yao Xie is an associate professor and Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Early Career Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and an Associate Director of the machine learning center. Benjamin Risk is an assistant professor in the department of biostatistics and bioinformatics in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. 

Between sessions, attendees perused over 40 posters submitted by students. Several students received awards for outstanding student presentations. 

Undergraduate award recipients were:

  • Yiren Hou, UGA, statistics - This poster addresses the overall ranking of populations utilizing Bayesian methods.
  • Ella Wileman, UGA, statistics - This poster reviews sex education and its future implications in the physical health of American students.

Graduate award recipients were:

  • First Place: Huimin Cheng, UGA-PhD, statistics - This poster addresses the graphon convolutional network and its use in producing graphs.
  • Second Place: Chaofan Huang, H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech - This poster addresses Constrained Minimum Energy Design (CoMinED) and recent advances in sampling methods.
  • Third Place: Yi Liu, North Carolina State, statistics - This poster targets clinical equipoise via propensity score weighting.
  • Third Place: Wenjing Ma, Emory, computer science - This poster discusses Cellcano, a novel computational method used for supervised cell type identification for single cell ATAC-seq data.

The focus of GSD 2022 was to build collaborations with top industries, expose students to applied research carried out in industry, and help them build connections with industry sponsors. Along with the poster session, there were special technical sessions where industry statisticians discussed current research focus and job prospects. These sessions were led by participants from Wells Fargo, JMP, Duke University, American Cancer Society, and State Farm among others. 

GSD will continue to rotate between the three host schools with Georgia Tech hosting in 2023. 

Image: Part of the poster session at GSD 2022. Photo by Katie Cowart.

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