Academic Year in Review 2017-2018


This has been a great year for Statistics at University of Washington!

Among our many highlights:

Peter Guttorp was elected Vice President of the International Statistical Institute

Faculty continue to be very successful in winning grants:

  • Yen-Chi Chen has been awarded a grant from the NSF’s Statistics Program for a project on Statistical Analysis Using Density Surrogates.
  • Mathias Drton also received and NSF for a project on Identification and Statistical Inference in Graphical Models with Feedback and Latent Variables
  • Elena Erosheva received an NSF Award for Developing Methodology for Detecting Commensuration Bias in Grant Application Peer Review.
  • Zaid Harchaoui  and Sham Kakade were awarded a  National Science Foundation (NSF) for a projected entitled: Algorithms for Data Science: Complexity, Scalability, and Robustness under the agency’s Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS) program.
  • Marina Meilă and Zaid Harchaoui were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Statistics Program for their project on “Cluster Validation Without Model Assumptions”.
  • The Simons Foundation named Daniela Witten, Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics and Biostatistics, as a Simons Investigator in Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems.

We have recruited new faculty and staff, including:

  • Michele Shaffer (PhD Penn State; UW Pediatrics), who is running our Consulting Program;
  • Tracy Pham has joined us as an Administrative Coordinator; Tracy has a BA in Public Health from UW.
  • Alex Luedtke, will be joining us as an Assistant Professor in the Fall. Alex has a PhD from UC Berkeley and was previously an Assistant Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

We also recognize faculty who transitioned to Emeritus status during the last year:

  • Professor Paul Sampson, who was on the faculty for 36 years, serving as Director of Consulting for three decades.
  • Professor Elizabeth Thompson, who joined the Department as a Professor in 1985 and served twice as Department Chair (1989-94; 2011-14). Elizabeth is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and was most recently President of the International Biometric Society.
  • Professor Don Percival, who has been a member of the Department since 1984. Don also has the distinction of being the Department’s first PhD alumnus.

Last, but not least, we launched a new web-site where you can keep track of all of these exciting developments (including this letter)!

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at the Joint Statistics Meetings in Vancouver!

Best regards,

Thomas Richardson
Professor and Chair
Department of Statistics
University of Washington


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