The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences is pleased to introduce the following eight faculty who joined ICS in calendar year 2019. These outstanding researchers and educators advance our school’s strategic priorities in the areas of data science, artificial intelligence, and big data systems while strengthening our expanding collaborations across campus in the areas of health informatics and computational science and engineering. With these new hires, the number of tenure-track faculty in our school has increased by 40% within three years, bringing the total count to an all-time high of 93, and reflecting the unprecedented growth in our enrollments and research activity.[Read more…]
For the past three years, Taneisha Arora has been double majoring in software engineering and data science, straddling all three departments in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). With software engineering being offered by the Department of Informatics jointly with the Department of Computer Science, and data science offered through the Department of Statistics, the double major supported her work at the intersection of machine learning and statistics. In addition to her studies, Arora volunteered for the AppJam+ program, mentoring middle school students on STEM concepts, and won a “Best Web App” hackathon award. Then, she spent the past summer in Boulder, Colorado, interning at Google. Now, as she starts her senior year, she decided to swap her software engineering major for a minor in ICS, allowing her more time to focus on her research and take classes that excite her.
It was the movie “Moneyball,” portraying the Oakland Athletics’ rise to fame in 2002 through the novel use of baseball statistics, that motivated James Purpura to study data science. Now, as part of the first graduating class for UCI’s new data science major, Purpura is set to earn his degree this spring. With a dual emphasis on statistics and computer science, the degree program — the first of its kind in the UC system — teaches students how to solve real-world data analysis problems. Purpura looks forward to landing a full-time position after graduation, but first, he is enjoying some time in London through UCI’s study abroad program.
7 fields of advanced study place in top 10 among public universities on annual list.
Read the full story on the UCI News site.
UCI’s research community gained a new ally with the hiring of a full-time director for the Center for Statistical Consulting. Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie, who stepped into the new role in February, will also serve as head of the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) unit within the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS). By managing both the consulting center and BERD unit, Ricks-Oddie plans to streamline processes and improve efficiency so the two groups operate in synch with one another and become a “one-stop shop” for the UCI community and affiliated organizations.
A great point about this was made about a decade ago by Andrew Gelman, a professor in the Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science at Columbia University, and Hal Stern, a professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine, in their wonderfully titled article “The Difference Between ‘Significant’ and ‘Not Significant’ is not itself Statistically Significant.”
In their discussion, Gelman and Stern touch on the growing awareness that “statistical significance is not the same as practical importance,” and “that dichotomization into significant and nonsignificant results encourages the dismissal of observed differences in favor of the usually less interesting null hypothesis of no difference, and that any particular threshold for declaring significance is arbitrary.”
Read the full story at The Lakeland Times.
Professors Kurt Squire, Ramesh Jain and Vladimir Minin provide a sneak peak of what technological innovations are ahead in 2018.
Vladimir Minin, Professor of Statistics, joined the ICS faculty in July 2017.
The 2017 Outstanding TA Award in Statistics went to Alexandra Peterson, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Statistics. According to Peterson, being a good TA requires more than just a solid understanding of the course material. TAs should also be able to “provide several different understandable explanations for the students,” she says. Peterson adds that “it is also important to seem approachable so that students feel comfortable asking questions.”
Brandon Berman received Honorable Mention.