News

Multiple members of Duke's Department of Statistical Science – from faculty, postdocs and current students to alumni – received top honors during the 2022 World Meeting of the International Society of Bayesian Analysis (ISBA). The event, which attracted more than 600 top researchers from around the world, brings together its diverse international community of investigators in statistics to share recent findings and present new and challenging problems.  During the conference, Duke was recognized in the following areas:… read more about Duke StatSci Sweeps Awards at ISBA 2022 »

Ph.D. students Bora Jin and Shounak Chattopadhyay were selected for travel awards to attend the 13th International Conference on Bayesian Nonparametrics.    read more about Shounak Chattopadhyay and Bora Jin receive travel awards »

DataFest 2022 at Duke, held April 1 - 3, was one of over forty ASA DataFest events that took place March - May 2022. DataFest is a data analysis competition sponsored by the American Statistical Association, where students work in teams to analyze a surprise and complex data set over a weekend. Students from Duke University and Duke Kushan University participated in this year’s event, the first held in person since DataFest 2019.  The surprise data came from Elm City Stories, an educational video game developed by… read more about DataFest 2022 at Duke »

The faculty and staff of the Department of Statistical Science congratulates the MSS Class of 2022! Members of this graduating class are part of an incredibly accomplished group, and this year, the MSS program has almost a 100% placement rate. Five students will be entering prestigious Ph.D. programs at Duke, UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the National University of Singapore, while the majority of the class are stepping into a myriad of industry roles, including data scientists,… read more about Congratulations, MSS Class of 2022! »

Postdoc Ruda Zhang, Assistant Professor Simon Mak, and Professor David Dunson were named finalists for the Best Paper Award at the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) division on Data Analytics & Information Systems. Their paper, “GP𝚺: Gaussian process prediction of covariance matrices”, proposes a novel Bayesian non-parametric model for covariance matrix prediction, with applications to surrogate modeling of heavy-ion simulations. This award recognizes outstanding papers in the research and practice… read more about Best paper award finalist at the IISE Annual Conference »

To encourage and reward the graduate students and post-doctoral scholars who help expand undergraduate research opportunities each year, the Department of Statistical Science  recognizes one or more doctoral students and/or postdoctoral scholars for their outstanding mentorship of individuals or teams of undergraduate researchers.   We believe that an outstanding mentor of undergraduate researchers, while providing mentoring support and guidance, holds themselves and their mentees to the highest ethical research standards,… read more about 2022 Outstanding Mentor of Undergraduate Research Award »

Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the Department of Statistical Science have a tremendous positive impact on the educational experience of students in our courses. The Department of Statistical Science recognized the contributions of the TAs to the educational mission of the department and Duke broadly with annual TA of the Year awards. TAs are nominated by faculty and students and the award winners are selected by a departmental committee. Each year the winners are announced at our departmental graduation celebration and the… read more about Statistical Science TAs of the Year »

Students in the MSS program can submit a Portfolio of Work for their MS completion exam. The MS Portfolio Award is given for outstanding Portfolios, recognizing excellence in applied statistics and presentation.  This is the first year portfolio awards are given to acknowledge all the hard work that goes into these completion exams. Nominations for the award are made and assessed by the Portfolio advisors: Dr. Fan Li, Dr. Beka Steorts, Dr. Merlise Clyde, and the MS Director, Dr. Funda Gunes. Due to this year’s exceptionally… read more about MSS Portfolio Award Winners »

Awarded by the Department of Statistical Science, the BEST Award promotes and recognizes student research in Bayesian statistics and decision analysis. The BEST Award reflects the role and impact of Bayesian methodology and its applications, and the importance of active research experiences at all levels of student engagement in Statistical Science at Duke. Each year, the Department of Statistical Science makes BEST Awards to undergraduate, MS, and Ph.D. students,  each with a monetary prize.  We are delighted to recognize… read more about BEST Award Winners 2022 »

Professor Fan Li was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). From the ASA website, "... the Committee on Fellows can elect up to one-third of one percent of the total association membership as fellows each year. To be selected, nominees must have an established reputation and have made outstanding contributions to statistical science." read more about Fan Li named ASA Fellow »

PhD alumni Abel Rodriguez and Chris Hans have been named Fellows of the American Statistical Association (ASA).  From the ASA website, "... the Committee on Fellows can elect up to one-third of one percent of the total association membership as fellows each year. To be selected, nominees must have an established reputation and have made outstanding contributions to statistical science."  Abel is a professor and department chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of Washington.  Chris is an associate professor… read more about PhD Alums Abel Rodriguez and Chris Hans named ASA Fellows »

Neil Marchant, recent PhD alum of the University of Melbourne in the School of Computing and Information Systems and former visiting scholar at Duke University in the Department of Statistical Science (jointly advised by Ben Rubinstein and Rebecca Steorts) has been named a Finalist for the Savage Award (Applied Methodology) for his thesis entitled “Statistical Approaches to Entity Resolution Under Uncertainty.”  In his thesis, he tackles a timely and important problem on entity resolution, which seeks to remove… read more about Savage Award finalist at Melbourne co-advised by Duke faculty »

For the third consecutive year, the Department of Statistical Science has been awarded a grant from the Trinity Research Enhancement Fund, a program from the Office of Academic Affairs to support undergraduate research and senior thesis projects. This year’s award of $13,300 will be used to support ongoing events and initiatives that aim to promote a sustainable culture of undergraduate research in the department.   A large portion of the grant will support the second iteration of the Introduction to Undergraduate… read more about Department awarded grant to support undergraduate research initiatives »

One important academic lesson of the pandemic was that despite COVID restrictions, many Duke undergraduate students continued to conduct valuable research in collaboration with faculty members. This week, that research was showcased when three juniors were named Faculty Scholars, the university’s highest honor for students presented by faculty. The awards went to Patrick Duan, for research studying historical dynamics of racial and ethnic minorities; Jenny (Yijian) Huang, for developing new statistical methodology for… read more about Three Juniors Selected as Faculty Scholars for Excellence in Research »

The Breaking News: #DataViz Headline Challenge is a collaboration between the American Statistical Association and the New York Times that challenges middle school, high school, and undergraduate students to interpret graphs and submit accurate and compelling headlines for articles that would include those visualizations. Zoe Spicer won the undergraduate category with her headline, “Ukrainian Refugee Flows Poised to Break Records, With Most Headed to Poland.” You can find the official announcement on their website… read more about STA 199 student Zoe Spicer wins "This is Statistics" spring headlines contest from ASA/NYTimes »

Through statistics, Duke’s Amy Herring is changing what we know about chemical exposure, uncovering adverse health outcomes for pregnant women and their babies.   All of us are exposed to hundreds of synthetic chemicals every day with unknown effects on our health. That’s worrisome enough, but some chemicals could threaten healthy pregnancies by interfering with the rapid physiological changes that take place during growth and development. In a sea of chemical exposure, how can researchers pinpoint which ones… read more about Better stats. Better science. Better outcomes »

Six members of Duke’s Class of 2023 have been named to the second class of Nakayama Scholars.  The Nakayama Public Service Scholarship is part of the university’s efforts to encourage students to use their Duke experience to engage with the large challenges facing communities around the world. The students represent multiple disciplines across Duke’s academic departments as well as a variety of future careers.  Juniors Alexandra Bennion, Bentley Choi, Garrett Goodman, Shreyas Hallur, Andrew Liu and Nellie Sun were chosen… read more about Duke Names Second Class of Nakayama Scholars »

Postdoctoral associate Ruda Zhang is featured on the Data & Science podcast. Ruda talks about integrating science and statistical modeling.  The podcast can be found here.   read more about Postdoc Ruda Zhang featured on Data & Science podcast  »

Cynthia Rudin, who is a professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, statistical science, mathematics, and biostatistics and bioinformatics, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship.  Read about her award.  read more about Cynthia Rudin receives Guggenheim Fellowship »

The MSS program was thrilled to welcome Dr. Scott Zoldi, Chief Analytics Officer at FICO, to our spring ProSeminar class. Dr. Zoldi spoke to MSS students and some faculty guests (including his own Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Henry Greenside) about pragmatic approaches to responsible AI use. The danger of AI is at an all-time high with researchers, companies, and the public all increasingly concerned with improperly built automated decisioning that negatively impacts human lives.  He discussed the context of the principles of… read more about Spring 2022 ProSeminar Highlight: Dr. Scott Zoldi, FICO »

Simon Mak presented at the Data & Science podcast on his work on integrating domain science into statistical models. You can see the podcast on YouTube.    read more about Simon Mak podcast on integrating science and statistics »

PhD student Emily Tallman has been awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.  Emily summarized the research she plans to do for the Fellowship as follows. My research proposal focused on new methodology in the intersection of Bayesian multivariate forecasting and decision analysis. With my advisor Mike West, I am developing a new, decision-focused approach to evaluating, comparing, and combining multiple forecasting models— methodology referred to as Bayesian Predictive Decision Synthesis (BPDS). BPDS extends… read more about Emily Tallman awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship »

PhD student Michele Caprio has received an Institute of Mathematical Statistics Hannan Graduate Student Travel Award to attend the 2022 IMS Annual Meeting.   Michele received the award in recognition for his paper on Finite mixture models: a bridge with stochastic geometry and Choquet theory. read more about Michele Caprio wins IMS Hannan travel award »

Graduate and professional programs across the university scored highly in U.S. News and World Report’s list of “2023 Best Graduate Schools.” The Duke University School of Nursing ranked second overall in the country. In addition, several MSN Nurse Practitioner specialty programs were highly ranked: Family (first) Adult-Gerontology Primary Care (first) Nursing Administration (first) Psychiatric/Mental Health Across the Life Span (first) Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (second) Duke was ranked second… read more about Duke Graduate Programs Get High Marks in 2022 US News Rankings »

With projects ranging from healthcare to the judicial system to professional athletics, six Duke students earned recognition during the Fall 2021 Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition (USPROC). In the Undergraduate Statistics Research Project category – a competition for research projects conducted by undergraduate statistics and data science students – two Duke students mentored by Professor Yue Jiang received top honors. Linda Tang was awarded first place for her project, “Psychiatric Comorbidity… read more about Six Duke Students Win Undergrad Stats Competition Honors »

The NFL’s Big Data Bowl is an annual football competition through which contestants take data given by Amazon’s NextGen Stats and Pro Football Focus and produce research projects to improve the analytical knowledge within the sport. This year, the competition tasked participants with analyzing special teams from a data science perspective, with the ultimate goal of creating a new metric to evaluate NFL plays on special teams. Placing as a finalist, winning a $5,000 prize and receiving the opportunity to present his paper… read more about Duke Statistics Senior Jack Lichtenstein named a finalist in NFL’s Big Data Bowl »

PhD student Olivier Binette is a winner of the student paper competition from the GSS/SRMS/SSS sections of the American Statistical Association.  His winning paper is titled "On the reliability of Multiple Systems Estimation for the Quantification of Modern Slavery." In view of modern slavery studies, he provides a thorough review and evaluation of multiple systems estimation methodology and contributes to the open-source software repository of the field. read more about Olivier Binette wins student paper competition »

Anru Zhang, who holds a secondary appointment in Statistical Science and is on the faculty of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, has been named the 2022 Tweedie New Researcher Award winner.  The Tweedie Award is given by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics to a leading early career researcher in statistical science.    read more about Anru Zhang wins Tweedie Award »