Fall 2022 Newsletter

Ford Hall

Dear alumni and friends,

We begin the fall semester reinvigorated by summer, abuzz with the energy of new beginnings and the resumption of many in-person activities that were put on hold during the pandemic. Our first seminar took place the first week in September, we welcomed students back to campus with a School of Statistics Kickoff last week, and very soon, our 50th anniversary celebration weekend will be underway. 

If you haven’t yet registered to attend our 50th anniversary celebration, I encourage you to visit our event web page and see what we have planned. Whether you are a recent graduate, an alumni from decades ago, a friend of the school, or a current student or faculty member, I think you will find there is something for everyone.

Recent News Highlights 

Alumni Ronald R. Christensen (PhD, ‘83) is being promoted to distinguished professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) this fall. He has been a member of UNM's Department of Mathematics & Statistics since 1988, and is also a fellow of the American Statistical Association (1996) and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (1998). Read more about Ronald Christensen’s promotion.

Alumna Antonietta Mira (MS ‘96, PhD ’98) was named a 2022 fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). The IMS recognition cites Mira’s contributions: “For excellence in computational aspects of Bayesian statistics, for service to professional societies, and for innovative contributions in statistics communication and outreach.” Read the full details of Antonietta Mira’s announcement.

Statistics students hosted an information booth at the Minnesota State Fair this summer, using Galton boards to engage fairgoers in statistical exploration. The School of Statistics Graduate Student Liaison Committee planned the activities as a way to communicate the value of statistics and to build interest in the field. Read more about statistics at the fair. 

Assistant Professor Jie Ding and a team of statistics graduate students led summer apprenticeships to promote K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. With support from the Army’s Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), Ding created a High School Apprenticeship opportunity with the goal of exposing students to research performed by real, professional scientists and engineers at a state-of-the-art university facility.  

Apprenticeship participants received funding support while performing research relating to the project, “A Journey of AI Research: Understanding and Exploring Supervised Learning.” They were mentored by School of Statistics graduate students who guided their technical and professional development. In addition to providing graduate students with important mentoring experiences, the program provided an obvious benefit: Apprenticeships revealed what scientific exploration looks like in a university research setting, where students can make discoveries that benefit the greater good.

The School of Statistics ranked number 21 in the 2022 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, released by Shanghai Ranking, contributing to the University of Minnesota’s reputation as one of the world’s leading research universities. Review the full list of U of M subjects that were included in this ranking.

Jeff Lande joined the School of Statistics Advisory Board. Lande is a senior principal statistician at Medtronic and has expertise in clinical trial statistical methodology and bioinformatics. He also is a reliable mentor, passionate about providing statistical support to others, with more than 20 years of experience in medical research. Read more about Jeff Lande.

Allyson Price became the school’s new graduate program coordinator. Price is excited to work in higher education, having spent the last few years obtaining a master’s degree in education while gaining teaching experience in middle and high schools around the Twin Cities. She now serves as the primary contact for graduate students, supporting operations, advising, and admission for the school’s graduate programs. Learn more about Allyson Price. 

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Do you know someone who would be a good fit for our School of Statistics?  Read about our job openings and share them with your networks. 

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As always, we welcome news of your achievements and statistical endeavors. Please share your updates with us at news@stat.umn.edu.

Warm regards,

Galin Jones

Professor and Director

The School of Statistics

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