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News & Events

New Director Appointed

The College has just appointed Galin Jones to a three-year term as Director of the School. Galin will take over from current Director Dennis Cook at the start of the Fall semester.

Galin Jones to be a Fellow of the ASA

The news is out – Galin Jones will be inducted as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association at the Fall JSM. The citation for this honor reflects his groundbreaking research in Markov Chain Monte Carlo methodology, his transformative contributions to graduate and undergraduate statistics education, and his services to ASA journals.

Honor for Cook

We are pleased and proud to hear that School Director Dennis Cook is being recognized as a distinguished alumnus of his alma mater, Kansas State University. His Distinguished Alumni award will be made at a reunion in Manhattan KS

New Assistant Professor

After a successful search, we look forward to Xiaoou Li joining the School as of Fall 2016. She says:

“I am very excited to join the School of Statistics at University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)! I was born and raised in Zhengzhou, a mid-sized city in east-central China. I went to Peking University for my undergraduate study when I was 17, where I studied Mathematics and Economics. After graduating from Peking University in 2007, I attended the doctoral program in Statistics at Columbia University. Currently, I am in my fifth year at Columbia, and I expect to obtain the PhD degree in May 2016.

My research mainly focuses on three parts. The first part deals with asymptotic analysis and computation for random functions.  In applied probability, the random functions of interest are classic stochastic processes; in statistics, of interest are functions of the data, such as likelihood functions. The second part of my research is on sequential analysis and adaptive experimental design with applications in business and engineering. The third part of my work is on latent variable modeling with applications in psychological and educational assessment.”

Student wins Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

Shubho Majumdar has just heard of winning a Graduate School Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship which will support him for the upcoming academic year. His research, joint with Prof. Saonli Basu of Biostats and the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research, will encompass “Simultaneous Selection of Multiple Genetic and Environmental Factors in Genome Wide Association Studies for Families”. Well done, Shubho

Masters student wins award

A multidisciplinary team comprising Raoul Fernandez, a 2016 master student in Statistics and three students from neuroscience and computer science won the Bronze medal in this year’s Acara challenge. Their idea was a health sync which would distribute remote health monitoring stations to rural villages in India. This will help gather data for health professional in the area that are trying to address the lack of health care access in the area.

Acara is an organization at the University of Minnesota which empowers the next generation of leaders to tackle social and environmental challenges through business. The Acara Challenge is open to graduate and undergraduate student teams within the University to develop solutions to address global issues.

Administrator Honored

John McEwen, the School’s Associate Administrator, has just been notified of a CLA Outstanding Service Award in recognition of his contributions to the effective running of the School. He will receive the award and a certificate at a ceremony on February 25. More detail on the awards can be found at

Another award

Boxiang Wang, the School's 2014 Bueher-Martin awardee, has been selected as one of the winners in the 2016 American Statistical Association Statistical Learning and Data Mining Student Paper Competition. The winning paper is "Another Look at DWD: Thrifty Algorithm and Bayes Risk Consistency in RKHS", work dne jointly with his advisor Hui Zou. He will be sponsored to present the work at JSM 2016 in Chicago.

Boxiang was honored again at the 10th Annual Machine Learning Symposium, held by New York Academy of Sciences. His spotlight talk "Another Look at Distance Weighted Discrimination" won first prize.

Good work, Boxiag.

School student wins two awards

The School is happy and proud to report that Dootika Vats, the School’s current Alumni Fellow and a Lindgren Teaching Award winner has added another prestigious award to her resume. As noted in the cover letter from the Graduate School, her University’s Louise T. Dosdall Fellowship “ is a tribute to her excellent academic record and professional promise”. The Fellowship will support her for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Dootika is also one of the winners of a best paper award, and will be sponsored to attend the 2016 JSM in Chicago to present her research The paper is available at

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