Introducing Qiuyun Zhu: Statistics’ New Post-Doctoral Fellow

Qiuyun Zhu, a person with light brown skin and black shoulder length hair

Hailing from her hometown of Jingzhou, China, Dr. Qiuyun Zhu is excited to join the School of Statistics as the first IRSA Faragher Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow and to offer a fresh and valuable perspective. She hopes to both contribute to the impressive scholarly work being done and also learn from collaborations with researchers in the department.

What brought you to the University of Minnesota?

The University of Minnesota has a strong background in statistics. The department is very supportive and has a vibrant research environment, and everyone is very friendly here.

What are your areas of specialty? How did you become interested in what you study and teach?

My research lies in the theory and computational practice of high-dimensional statistics, Bayesian inference and optimization, with applications in machine learning, data science, and game theory. I find statistics to be interesting since I can develop beautiful theories and at the same time produce results that are relevant in practice.

What questions and ideas are you most interested in exploring right now? What problems does your work seek to address?

I am currently interested in generative models and bandit problems (a type of decision-making problem). These problems are closely connected to machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). I hope my results can be useful in explaining the empirical success of various AI algorithms. I am also currently working with Prof. Xiaotong Shen on Normalizing Flows. We hope to provide theoretical support for discrete probabilistic models.

What are you most excited about right now?

I am mostly excited to learn more about the Twin Cities as well as collaborate with the many wonderful researchers in the School of Statistics. So far, I have explored many restaurants around the Twin Cities as I am a foodie, and am happy that Minnesota has so many good Chinese restaurants. The living expenses here are affordable compared to other big cities, which is a big plus. There are a lot of beautiful lakes as well and it is really relaxing to take walks by them. I enjoy life here very much.

The IRSA Faragher Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship was made possible through the generous estate gift designated to the School of Statistics by long-time CLA champion, Bill Faragher '56, B.A. in Mathematics. 

This story was edited by an undergraduate student in CLA.

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