Spring 2022 Newsletter

Northrop Mall

Dear alumni and friends,

As another semester comes to a close we count ourselves lucky; celebrations are once again in order for our School of Statistics. Highlights featured in this newsletter reflect achievements and budding opportunities for students, faculty, and friends of the school, both past and present. I invite you to applaud them with me.

On the note of celebrations, did you know that 2022 marks 50+ years of history for the School of Statistics? The pandemic forced us to delay festivities for the last few years, but we are now planning a weekend of activities to commemorate the occasion this fall. Anniversary events will take place in-person, on-campus on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, 2022. I urge you to save the date on your calendars and update your contact information with the University so you are sure to receive subsequent announcements and an official invitation.

Highlights from 2021-2022

  • Alumna Francesca Chiaromonte (PhD ’96) was named Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). Her recognition cites “outstanding contributions to methodology for the analysis of large, complex and structured data, in particular to the field of Sufficient Dimension Reduction, for outstanding interdisciplinary work in the ‘Omics’ and in the biomedical sciences, and for leadership in interdisciplinary training and mentoring efforts.” The IMS will honor Chiaromonte and all its new fellows at the IMS Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony in London in June. 
  • Alumnus Claude Setodji (PhD ’03) was named Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), for “excellence in applied statistics, consulting and methods development; for exemplary contributions in health policy evaluations; and for improving the state-of-the-art of statistical practice and methods in tobacco and substance use research.” An award ceremony will honor new fellows at JSM next August. Read more about Setodji’s achievement.
  • Alumnus Weng Kee Wong (PhD ’90) was recognized as a prestigious 2021 Yushan Scholar by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. As a result, he will spend three months each year at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, developing effective, nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithms for applications in statistics. Read more about Wong’s award.
  • Alumna Lindsey Dietz (PhD '16) caught the attention of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal and was recognized as a 40 Under 40 Award honoree this spring. This accomplishment is the latest in a string of achievements highlighting Dietz as a developing leader in business and the community, including her acceptance of the Federal Reserve System’s 2020 William Taylor Award, and her 2019 recognition as an IF/THEN Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Read more about Dietz’s award.
  • Alumna Shefali Mehta (MS '16) began a new role as the new deputy undersecretary of research, education and economics and acting chief scientist at the US Department of Agriculture, a senior position in the Biden-Harris administration. Mehta’s role helps to fulfill the mission of creating a safe, sustainable, competitive US food and fiber system. Read more about Mehta’s appointment.
  • Alumna Dootika Vats (PhD '17) was awarded a 2021 Blackwell-Rosenbluth Award by the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA), recognizing her as an outstanding early-career researcher working in areas of Bayesian statistics. She was invited to present her work in the Junior Bayes Beyond the Borders (JB^3) webinar series in November. Read more about Vats’ award.
  • Alumni Daniel J. Eck (PhD '17), Christopher J. Nachtsheim (PhD '79), and Thomas A. Albrecht (MS '19), along with Professor Emeritus R. Dennis Cook, received the 2021 Youden Prize for the best expository paper in Technometrics in 2020, "Multivariate Design of Experiments for Engineering Dimensional Analysis." Read more about the Youden Prize.
  • Professor and Director Galin Jones was named Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), for “fundamental contributions to statistical computation, Markov chain Monte Carlo, and Bayesian methods, and for superb service to the profession.” Jones was appointed director of the school in 2016 and was elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association that same year. He is also a co-editor for the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics.
  • The statistics staff welcomed Jeremy Terry to the school as its new executive office and administrative specialist in the fall. His master's in arts administration from Drexel University and his experience administering nonprofits makes him a great addition for 300 Ford Hall. Learn more about Terry.

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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