The School of Statistics Turns 50

School of Statistics Celebrating 50 years 1971-2021 Archival Ford Hall photo in the background

Fifty years ago the School of Statistics was established at the University of Minnesota. In celebration, we hosted a series of 50th-anniversary events across Minneapolis in October.

Event Overview

When: October 7 - 8, 2022

What: Two days of activities taking place across Minneapolis

  • Casual activities on campus that are self-guided or facilitated by the School of Statistics, including a reunion photo outside Ford Hall
  • A 50th Anniversary Welcome Event, including a presentation of our first-ever Distinguished and Emerging Alumni Awards
  • A Day of Statistics Talks featuring the Geisser Lecture, as well as panels and presentations shared by alumni
  • “History and Hops” at a local brewery, to hear from past UMN statisticians about where we’ve come from

See the event schedule for full details on each activity.

Event Schedule

Learn about each activity. 

Casual Campus Activities 


UMN-Twin Cities Campus

We have compiled a list of activities for you to take part in when you arrive on campus. Absorb the latest art exhibits, stop by Ford Hall for cookies and coffee, or take a self-guided tour around campus to see what buildings have been updated since your last stay in Minneapolis.

Don’t miss these Ford Hall activities:

  • 2:00 - 4:00 PM  Tea, coffee, and desserts in room 300. A check-in table will be stationed outside the building’s EAST entrance, just off Church Street. You can enter Ford Hall there.
  • 4:00 PM A 50th Anniversary Reunion Photo. Meet outside the building’s WEST entrance (the Northrop Mall side). If you don't see the group right away, look north towards Northrop Auditorium. Depending on how many people take part, the photo may move to the steps of Vincent Hall (beside Ford Hall) or Walter Library (a few buildings up on the west side of the lawn).

Has it been a while since you have visited Ford Hall? View a map and refresh your memory about the Ford Hall building, including where to park.

The closest Light Rail stop is the East Bank Station on the Green Line, located 0.1 miles from the building.

You can also use the Campus Connector bus to ride from campus to campus. Visit the UMN transportation website for full details.

Welcome Event and Alumni Awards


Doors open at 6:00 PM for a social hour. The dinner program will begin promptly at 7:00 PM.

The Solar Arts Building

711 NE 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Attend the 50th anniversary welcome event, located in the trendy Quincy Street neighborhood of the Northeast Minneapolis Art District. Mintahoe at Solar Arts is a unique, 100 year old event venue located on the top floor of the Solar Arts Building, which also houses art studios & galleries, as well as one of the first breweries in Minneapolis--Indeed Brewing. Look forward to connecting with statistics alumni and friends:

  • Catch up with alumni and faculty over a social hour with drinks and browse the building's art gallery
  • Capture the moment with a photo, update your alumni information, and shop for 50th anniversary gear
  • Enjoy a sit-down dinner including a welcome address from John Coleman, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
  • Presentation of School of Statistics Alumni Awards

Statistics Talks Featuring the Geisser Lecture


Doors open at 8:00 AM for breakfast and check-in.

The Hubert Humphrey Conference Center 

301 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Join us on the West Bank for a day of statistics talks, panels, and discussions, featuring the esteemed Seymour Geisser Distinguished Lecture. This year's Geisser lecture will be delivered by Francesca Chiaromonte, Professor of Statistics at Penn State, and the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Statistics for the Life Sciences. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Parking and Transportation

View parking options for the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs building, including the 19th Avenue Ramp (closest) or the 21st Ave Ramp.

The closest Light Rail stop is West Bank Station on the Green Line, located 0.1 miles from the building. 

You can also use the Campus Connector bus to ride from campus to campus. Visit the UMN transportation website for full details.

Geisser Lecture Talk Details


Francesca Chiaromonte, (PhD ’96) Professor of Statistics at Penn State, and the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Statistics for the Life Sciences


In Awe of Today’s Data: Reducing, Selecting, Leveraging Structure – and Looking Ahead.


Since my times as a statistics PhD student in the ‘90s, science, entire economic sectors, trade, public administration, and most aspects of daily life have been transformed by an ever-increasing availability of massive, complex data. These data are generated by fast-evolving high-throughput technologies, online activities, and our own expanding digital traces. As a statistician and as a scientist, I spent the last decades seeking ways to reduce, sieve through and make sense of it – striking a balance between the pragmatism required by applications and the rigor required by methods development. 

Working with biomedical researchers and computer scientists through the “Omics” revolution, and with economists and social scientists as they learned to integrate alternative data sources in their studies, has brought me awe and opportunities to contribute both to scientific insight and to statistical innovation – in fields such as sufficient dimension reduction, feature selection and feature screening, and functional data analysis. At the same time, these decades have delineated daunting methodological and social challenges – ranging from the scalability of statistical procedures, to the reproducibility and stability of results obtained from analyzing massive and complex data, to issues of power, bias, interpretability, privacy, etc.      

In this lecture, I will attempt to recount my journey describing some biomedical applications, touching upon some methodological highlights, and offering some thoughts on the challenges.  

Confirmed Speakers 

Kazeem Adepoju

Sakshi Arya

Francesca Chiaromonte

Bhaskar Chattaraj

Daniel Eck

Karl Oskar Ekval

Jeremy Gu

Murali Haran

Megan Heyman

Joseph Ibrahim

Takeaki Kariya

Lexin Li

Ying Lu

David Matteson

Glen Meeden

Aaron Molstad

Brad Price

Piercesare Secchi

Benjamin Sherwood

Carrie Strief

Zhihua Su

Wei Qian

Boxiang Wang

Yunan Wu

Yi Yang

History and Hops


Inbound Brewery 

701 N 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Pop into the bustling North Loop area to socialize, order a beer, and listen to a panel of past statisticians discuss the last 50 years! 

We have intentionally planned a break between activities to allow attendees time for dinner. The North Loop is a vibrant neighborhood known for its food establishments, bars, and nightlife. Attendees can choose to enjoy a sit-down meal on their own, or order takeout from one of the many food eateries nearby and bring it to Inbound to consume in good company. 

Parking and Transportation

Street parking is available at this location but is first-come, first-served. The closest parking ramp option is a half mile walk down the street, in the Mobility Hub Ramp B. The closest Light Rail stop is Target Field Station on the Blue and Green Lines, just 0.3 miles down the road. 


Purchase School of Statistics gear

Statistics-branded merchandise is now available to order from our Alumni Marketplace. Visit the virtual shop and place your order today!


Those who would like to donate specifically to the 50th Anniversary celebration can contribute to the School of Statistics Annual Fund.

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