Vladimir Minin, Professor of Statistics, joined the ICS faculty in July 2017.
Statistics Professor Jessica Utts and eight statistics graduate students (seven Ph.D. and one M.S.) attended the American Statistical Association’s 2017 Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference held in La Jolla, Calif., from Oct. 19-21. In its third year, the conference had about 400 attendees and is modeled after the Grace Hopper Conference, which is aimed more toward women in computing and computer sciences. According to Utts, UCI was probably the most well-represented school at the conference this year, with the nine women attending from the Department of Statistics as well as other women from across campus.
Graduate statistics student Shuying Zhu is the recipient of the 2017 Robert L. Newcomb Memorial Endowed Graduate Award, which aims to provide statistical support to researchers and advance the careers of graduate students in the Donald Bren School of ICS. Zhu previously studied chemical engineering in China, but she found statistics to be “useful and interesting.” A friend who studied at UC Irvine recommended the statistics program, so Zhu looked into it and realized it was a good program. She says Irvine is a nice place, and in her free time she enjoys playing badminton and tennis. She is interested in applied statistics and appreciates having the chance to learn. She plans to apply for a Ph.D. program and wants to start a career in academia. Zhu was “very surprised and grateful” to learn she had received the Newcomb award.
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.
Bin Nan, Professor of Statistics, joined the ICS faculty in September 2017.
With $3.8 million in support from the National Institute on Aging, University of California, Irvine neurobiologists are working to identify the early indicators of dementia in older adults as disease-related brain plaques accumulate but before symptoms can be observed. The researchers are developing sophisticated methods using brain imaging technology to understand the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and predict its onset before any outward manifestations. If successful, their work will pave the way for effective preventive treatments that will substantially increase quality of life for patients and reduce the burden on families and the healthcare system.
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Best Computer Science Schools (BCSS), a leading authority on computer science, tech education and college rankings, has released a new ranking of the 35 Best Big Data Degrees for 2017 in which UCI was ranked as having the 18th best data science bachelor’s degree program in the nation. The ranking highlights the growth and impact of UCI’s B.S. program in data science, which is housed in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences. The data science bachelor’s has a dual emphasis on the principles of both statistics and computer science, with foundational training in statistical and mathematical aspects of data analysis, as well as in the broad principles of computer science (including algorithms, data structures, data management and machine learning).
The UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIE) has appointed ICS professors Melissa Mazmanian, Amelia Regan and Babak Shahbaba to serve as DECADE (Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience) Graduate Faculty Mentors. Mazmanian will serve as a mentor for the graduate program in informatics, Shahbaba will be the mentor for the graduate program in statistics; and Regan will serve as a mentor for the graduate programs in computer science, network systems and transportation science. They each will serve two-year terms that started in July.