February 2023 Newsletter

Winter campus

Dear alumni and friends,

In October, we hosted a 50th Anniversary Celebration, welcoming more than 130 alumni, friends, and ambassadors of the school to mark the occasion, honor our remarkable past, and imagine what’s possible for the future. Thank you to everyone who made the trip to celebrate with us. Those who missed it can still order statistics-branded merchandise, visit our event webpage to see what the weekend entailed, or browse event photos.

Group photo of School of Statistics 50th Anniversary Celebration attendees on steps of  Vincent Hall
Attendees of the School of Statistics 50th Anniversary Celebration pose for a reunion photo outside of Vincent Hall.

Recent News Highlights

The anniversary celebration was also an opportunity to recognize inaugural School of Statistics Alumni Award winners, including Lindsey Dietz and Carrie Strief, and inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award winners Joseph Ibrahim and Piercesare Secchi.

We asked our awardees to answer questions about their experiences at the School of Statistics, their current professions, and general thoughts on the field. Read their interview Q&As.

Award winners Joseph Ibrahim, Carrie Strief, and Piercesare Secchi holding their awards
Award winners Joseph Ibrahim, Carrie Strief, and Piercesare Secchi take a moment to pose for a photo at the 50th Anniversary celebration. Not pictured: Lindsey Dietz, who received her award at a later occasion.

Recognized among the world’s top 2 percent most cited scientists are School of Statistics Professors Charles GeyerXiaotong ShenYuhong Yang, and Hui Zou, as well as Professors Emeriti Dennis CookSeymour Geisser, and Douglas Hawkins. Thanks in part to the work of these distinctive scientists, the School of Statistics continues to be a leading center of innovation and research. Read our full announcement about these rankings, published by researchers at Stanford University’s Meta-Research Innovation Center.

Hui Zou was elected as a 2022 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for distinguished contributions to the statistical inference in high dimensions, especially with respect to variable selection, regularization, and sparse discriminant analysis. The fellowship is a lifetime honor. Read the UMN announcement of the award.

Eugenie Ngandjeu Nya joined the school as a teaching specialist in the fall. Eugenie is originally from Cameroon, and has taught at several institutions including University of Yaoundé I, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), University of Calgary, and the University of Minnesota Duluth. She has a master’s degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in financial engineering, and a teaching diploma for secondary and high school education. She describes the University of Minnesota as an “amazing community,” which she is happy to be a part of. Learn more about Eugenie Ngandjeu Nya.

Read our student spotlight to see what the school’s most recent PhD graduates are up to and learn about our new students.

The School of Statistics Advisory Board welcomed serial technology startup founder and advertising industry veteran Paul Boruta to its leadership team this fall. Says Boruta, “I look forward to adding my entrepreneurial and tech startup perspective to the board, with a lens toward helping our students refine and market their skills to make an even greater impact as they graduate.” We do too! Read more about Paul Boruta.

We are hiring a postdoctoral research scientist for an IRSA Faragher Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship. This two-year fellowship comes with no teaching or service obligations, along with a competitive annual salary, and generous funding for relocation, conference travel, and research. The position will begin on August 28, 2023. Learn about the IRSA Faragher Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship.

As for the future, you’ll soon hear about a new data science initiative on campus and the leadership role that our School of Statistics will play in its development. It’s something I look forward to sharing! In the meantime, I wish you all the best for the new year.

Warm regards,

Galin Jones

Professor and Director

The School of Statistics

Outstanding Alumni

College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Alumni Awards

If you know of CLA alumni who excel in their field or are making an impact in others’ lives, we want to know about them!

Nominations for the 2023 Alumni Awards are now open. Submit your nomination by April 30, 2023, to have your candidate considered for an alumni award.

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