Three Statistics PhD Students Present Research at CSU GRADSHOW
Statistics PhD Students, Danielle Demateis, Seongwon Im, and Troy Wixson, presented their research at the 2022 Graduate Student Showcase (GRADSHOW). Danielle’s work, titled “Distributed Lag Interaction Model: Birth Weight and Air Pollution”, studies the effect of air pollution exposure during pregnancy on birth weight. Seongwon’s work, titled “Tree Distributed Lag Mixture Model for Zero-inflated Count Data: Estimating the impact of Wildfire smoke and COVID-19 on mortality in Colorado”, studies the exposure and interaction effects of wildfire smoke and COVID-19 on mortality. Troy’s work, “Attribution of Seasonal Wildfire Risk to Changes in Climate”, models the extreme seasonal risk of wildfire and studies the fire weather observed in the Grand Lake area of Colorado in 2020. Statistics Associate Professor, Ander Wilson, served as a judge on the Awards Committee.
Danielle, Seongwon, and Troy enjoyed presenting at the GRADSHOW, because it was good practice to explain their work to people from different disciplines at both high and low levels of detail. Also, they commented that the GRADSHOW provided an opportunity for them to connect with peers and faculty across departments at CSU, which may lead to collaborations and helps them see how statistics is used across campus.
College Early Career Award for Dr. Josh Keller
The College of Natural Science has awarded Dr. Josh Keller with its prestigious Early Career Teaching and Mentoring Award. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics, Dr. Keller was recognized for his remarkable record of course innovation and development, his leadership in inclusive excellence, and his exemplary mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students in their research endeavors. The Department of Statistics is grateful for Dr. Keller’s dedication and commitment to excellence in education and mentorship, and congratulates him for this well-deserved recognition.
Welcome to the '22-'23 Academic Year!
The Statistics Department is excited about the start of the ’22-’23 academic year. The Department welcomed 12 new students into its MS/PhD program, added a new class in the Master’s of Applied Statistics Program, and met our new Statistics Undergraduates at Ram Welcome. Classes start Monday, August 23. Welcome to all the new Rams!
The new Statistics MS/PhD students
Undergraduate Summer Research
This summer 10 Statistics and Data Science undergraduates gained valuable experience by participating in research projects. More than 30 students applied for paid positions sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences and the Statistics department. Students were supervised by faculty members Haonan Wang, Josh Keller, Ben Prytherch and Ann Hess. Statistical methods included data wrangling, visualization, linear and logistic regression, mixed models, principal components analysis, type M errors and simulation. Students presented their work to the department on June 30. They will submit posters to Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC) in Spring 2023.
Addison D. Adams Joins the Institute for Defense Analyses
ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 2022) – Colorado State University student Addison D. Adams joined the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) as a summer associate in the Operational Evaluation Division of IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center. Adams is a graduate student at Colorado State working towards his doctoral degree in statistics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Utah Valley University in 2019. IDA is a nonprofit corporation that operates three federally funded research and development centers in the public interest. IDA answers the most challenging U.S. security and science policy questions with objective analysis leveraging extraordinary scientific, technical and analytic expertise.
Dr. Julia Sharp named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association
Dr. Julia Sharp was recently named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association for excellent and sustained collaboration that advances the development and practice of statistics, for exceptional mentoring and teaching of statisticians and researchers using statistical methods, and unparalleled service to the ASA and profession.
The designation of ASA Fellow has been a significant honor for nearly 100 years. Under ASA bylaws, 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. The Committee on Fellows evaluates each candidate’s contributions to the advancement of statistical science and places due weight on the following:
- Published works
- Position held with employer
- ASA activities
- Membership and accomplishments in other societies
- Professional activities
Dr. Bailey Fosdick Discusses Colorado COVID-19 Surge with Media
Dr. Fosdick was recently interviewed by 9news (https://www.9news.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/colorado-covid-hospital-beds-polis-next-steps/73-5440709e-c9b6-45c5-ad32-a1d78237c6e3) and CBS Denver (https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/11/11/covid-surge-cases-trajectory-colorado-state-university/) about her work with the Colorado School of Public Health COVID-19 Modeling Team. As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations sharply rise in Colorado, modeling the future of the pandemic in the state has proven to be more and more challenging.
American Society of Agronomy Honors Group of Statisticians
Julia Sharp, along with a group of other statisticians, will be recognized with The American Society of Agronomy Presidential Award. The Presidential Award is given to “…an individual or group that has impacted our society members in a substantive and lasting way…. (Volenec, ASA President).” The award proclamation states: “The American Society of Agronomy Presidential Award is given to individuals or teams who have influenced agronomic science or crop production practices so greatly that the impact of their efforts will be enduring on future science. This year’s award goes to the NCCC-170 and Experiment Station Statisticians. This group’s contributions has taken many forms including: statistical courses in classrooms; one-on-one guidance on specific research problems; resolution of statistical issues surfaced during the peer-review process; convening popular workshops; authoring key books on emerging statistical methods; and participation in and improving grant applications. They have guided ASA members through decades of change in statistical analyses starting with punch cards and SAS and ending with clouds and R. Most importantly, our science, the evidence underpinning our conclusions and recommendations, and the students we have educated are better because of their scholarly contributions.” A representative from the group will receive the award at the 2021 ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Meeting in November.
Congratulations to MAS almun JD Drumheller!
JD Drumheller was named one of the winners in the 2021 ASA Statistics and Environment Section’s data challenge! His winning project was titled: “Predicting tree species distributions in Colorado forests using climate models.” JD graduated from the MAS Data Science program in the summer of 2021. Congratulations JD!
Paper Accepted in Psychological Methods
In collaboration with Scott Liang (PhD student) and Dr. Marina Vannucci at Rice University, Matt Koslovsky co-authored a manuscript recently accepted in Psychological Methods, “Bayesian Continuous-Time Hidden Markov Models with Covariate Selection for Intensive Longitudinal Data with Measurement Error.” This work proposes a Bayesian hidden Markov model to simultaneously identify risk factors for subjects transitioning between discrete latent states as well as risk factors potentially associated with them misreporting their true behaviors using ecological momentary assessment data. Congrats to Scott on his first lead author paper!
Statistics Graduate Student Nehali Mhatre Awarded CNS Graduate Student Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award
Statistics Graduate Student, Nehali Mhatre was just awarded the CNS Graduate Student Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award. Please join us in the Cherokee Park Ballroom in the Lory Student Center on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. for the Professor Laureate lecture and the Teaching and Mentoring Awards ceremony.
Statistics Department's Bailey Fosdick Featured in CBS Denver News Story about COVID in Colorado
A team of statisticians from Colorado State University that has spent the pandemic helping the State of Colorado forecast spikes in COVID-19 cases says the recent surge in cases in Colorado is mysterious. While some cases can easily be tracked back, the overall surge that Colorado has seen in recent weeks hasn’t been linked to one underlying factor.
“I don’t know if we will ever know what is causing this spike,” said Dr. Bailey Fosdick, Associate Professor in CSU’s Department of Statistics.
Read full story here.
Recent Publication: "Eye Trauma in Falls Presenting to Emergency Department
Channing Parker served as a Statistical Consultant on a project at University of Pittsburgh in 2019, which resulted in a publication in early 2021. The paper, titled “Eye trauma in falls presenting to the emergency department from 2006 through 2015” by Bushra Usmani, Asad Latif, Mustafa Iftikhar, Yasir J Sepah, Channing Parker, Justin A Fliss, Kunal K Dansingani, and Syed Mahmood Ali Shah, was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology on February 1st of 2021. The purpose of this project was to characterize the epidemiology of eye trauma in the event of falls presenting to the emergency departments (ED) in the USA.
Statistical faculty Wen Zhou is awarded NIHR01 grant to study the higher order dependence and protein functionality
Prof. Wen Zhou has been awarded a new NIH R01grant (1R01GM144961, 2021-2024) as the PI to study the higher order dependence in high dimensional data and its applications in learning protein functionality and structure. Collaborating with Prof. Zhao Ren from Statistics at University of Pittsburgh, Prof. Robert Jernigan from Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology and Dr. Kejue Jia from Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Iowa State University, in this project, Wen will tackle the important problem of quantifying and drawing inference on the higher order dependence, and biologically, how to integrate protein structure and sequence information in complex systems. Some of the most important characteristics of protein sequencing and structural data are the strong correlations buried within them, with the pairwise correlations in the sequence data already being routinely used to predict structural contacts. Here, the team will develop novel ways to use huge data sets to extract higher-order dependences, which are now possible with the availability of the large volumes of sequence data from genomics; and in addition, in the molecular structures such higher-order dependences are directly observable in the protein structures where groups of amino acids interact directly. Importantly, these higher-order dependences reflect the dense physical environment in the cell that requires for proper statistical characterization. A new model free information-theoretic measure is introduced to quantify the higher-order dependences, which serves as the central method in this project. By identifying the major challenges in drawing statistical inference based on this measure, the team will develop, evaluate, and improve a new statistical inference and computational framework for analyses of higher-order dependences with discrete data of a general type, motivated by the protein multiple sequence data. The new computationally efficient framework makes it possible to discover reliable higher-order dependences with the ability of quantifying uncertainty. The preliminary data here combine the information from sequences and structures to yield unexpected results that immediately relate to the dynamics of the protein structures. The outcome is an entirely new approach to handle the large volumes of protein sequence data and other omics data now available and the enormous volumes about to arrive on the doorsteps of omics analysts.
Welcome to the Department Channing Parker
Channing Parker recently joined the Department of Statistics as an instructor. They graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 with a Master’s degree in Statistics, after receiving their Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Statistics from James Madison University in 2017. Before joining the Statistics Department at CSU, they held a Visiting Instructor position at the University of Pittsburgh from 2019 to 2021. In their spare time, Channing enjoys various forms of art, including photography, macrame, and flower preservation, along with gardening, thrift shopping, and cuddling their dog, Finn. Welcome to the Department of Statistics, Channing!
Jay Breidt Named Chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee
Jay Breidt has been selected to serve as Chair of the Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC) for the US Census Bureau, beginning in August 2021. CSAC is organized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and consists of experts from demographics, economics, geography, psychology, statistics, survey methodology, social and behavioral sciences, information technology and computing, marketing and other fields. The Committee advises the Director of the Bureau on the full range of Census Bureau programs and activities including communications, decennial census of population, demographic analysis, economic surveys and censuses, field operations, geographic analysis, information technology, and statistics.
New NSF Grant to Fund Statistics Research Related to National Security
Piotr Kokoszka (PI) and Haonan Wang and Indrakshi Ray received NSF grant “Threat Detection Based on Simultaneous Monitoring of Complex Signals from Multiple Sources” funded by the Division of Mathematical Sciences program “Algorithms for Threat Detection”. Motivated by threats to the operation of fleets of heavy vehicles, the research will develop statistical methodology and theory that will create foundations for a broad class of algorithms for real time detection of malicious attacks on various large scale operations. Statistical methodology will be based on probability in metric spaces and hidden Markov chains. Several PhD students will gain expertise at the intersection of advanced statistics, computer science and engineering.
Julia Sharp Continues Leadership in the American Statistical Association
Julia Sharp continues to be a leader in the American Statistical Association (ASA). Julia served on the ASA Board of Directors from 2017 until 2019. While on the Board of Directors, Julia led a Diversity and Inclusion Task Group. This Task Group initiated a diversity and inclusion resource repository and discussions with other entities to develop a diversity and inclusion consortium. Julia led the proposal for the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Outreach Group, which was approved by the ASA Board and is concluding its successful first year of existence. Julia is also serving as Chair of the ASA Council of Chapters Governing Board. Her initiatives have included modernizing chapter communication and obtaining historical chapter health information to help with leadership transitions and communication. Julia also serves on the Conference for Statistical Practice Steering Committee.
Honorable Mention at the 2021 JSM Statistical Significance Poster Competition
Emily Luetschwager, a 2021 CSU graduate and statistics major, was one of 10 posters recognized in the ASA’s Statistical Significance Poster Competition. The competition consists of submitting a one-page illustration of the value of statistics to society with the objective of communicating to a layperson how the statistical solution to a problem would help inform decision making in specific sectors. Emly’s poster, titled “Statistics and the Environment: Detecting Natural Gas Leaks”, outlined how statistical methods help detect and find natural gas leaks with mobile sensors. Emily’s poster was awarded Honorable Mention. Congratulations, Emily!
MAS Student Wins First Place at Harmonized Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Hackathon
Glenn Swanson, a 2021 MAS graduate student won first place in the Harmonized Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Hackathon put on by the University of Colorado School of Medicine. To build her models, Glenn kept the mentality of “keep it parsimonious and interpretable” – something that has stuck with her since taking STAA 551 – for both her linear model and logistic regression equations. In the end her models were selected for their “performance, simplicity, and transferability in the healthcare setting”. Congratulations Glenn!
Outstanding Grads: Ryan Volkert and Dawson Eliason
Ryan Volkert and Dawson Eliason both followed a unique opportunity to be among the first class to graduate from Colorado State University’s Data Science major in the College of Natural Sciences, an achievement that uniquely positions them for a range of possibilities in the professional world. Read the full article here.
Statistics Undergraduate Student Emily Luetschwager Earns 3rd Place at CURC
Emily Luetschwager earned 3rd place at the Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase. Congratulations Emily!
Dan Mork Appointed to ENAR Council for Emerging and New Statisticians
Graduate student Daniel Mork has been appointed to the Council for Emerging and New Statisticians (CENS) for the Eastern North American Region (ENAR) of the International Biometrics Society. CENS works with the professional society to better serve early career members. The Council is responsible for developing networking; career development; and diversity, equity, and inclusion events. Dan will serve a two-year term of CENS. Congratulations Dan!
Congratulations to our 2021 Student Award Winners!
See the full list of award winners here.
Julia Sharp Named Outstanding Mentor
Julia Sharp was named the Outstanding Mentor Award winner by the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistical Consulting. See website here. Congratulations Julia!
Grant Awarded to Ander Wilson
Assistant Professor Ander Wilson has received a new grant to study the effects of maternal air pollution exposure on birth outcomes. Dr. Wilson is part of a team with researchers at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Danish Cancer Society that received the award from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. The CSU team will develop new statistical and interpretable machine learning methods as part of the collaboration. These new methods will allow researchers to understand who is most susceptible to air pollution and shed light on the biological mechanisms by which air pollution effects fetal development.
New Working Groups Generate Research Momentum
Even though the pandemic thwarted many activities in the Fall, three new working groups in the Department of Statistics generated research excitement in the areas of environmental biostatistics, data science and SAS programming.
The Environmental Biostatistics Working Group, led by Josh Keller, Matt Koslovsky, Zach Weller, and Ander Wilson, seeks to build collaboration and community among faculty and students working in biostatistics with application in environmental and public health.
Read full article here.
Graduate Student Spotlight: Lucy Lu
Xinyi (Lucy) Lu is from Beijing, China. She first came to the U.S. in 2013 to study Statistics at Duke University. Lucy says she was “drawn to Colorado by its spectacular mountain ranges and the equally spectacular statistics program at CSU.” Advised by Dr. Mevin Hooten and funded by the National Park Service, Lucy’s research involves developing novel and interpretable statistical solutions to ecological questions. Read full article here.
Introducing STAT 100: Statistical Literacy
In the past, Colorado State University undergraduates lacking core quantitative prerequisites had to take MATH 101: Math in the Social Sciences to fulfill the AUCC quantitative reasoning requirement. There were few alternatives to MATH 101 that might benefit students. The Department of Statistics envisioned a course that was accessible to students with little or no math background, and little or no desire to pursue future quantitative courses. Thus, STAT 100: Statistical Literacy was born. Read full article here.
Assistant Professor Develops Novel Methods for Analyzing Microbiome Data
Human microbiome research seeks to better understand the role of our microbial communities and how they interact with their host, respond to their environment and influence disease. \Recently published in the Annals of Applied Statistics, Matt Koslovsky, an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics, and colleagues developed a Bayesian joint model that simultaneously identifies clinical covariates associated with microbial composition data and predicts a phenotypic response using information contained in the compositional data. Previous efforts have modeled these data separately, which can produce biased interpretations and reduce prediction performance. By integrating these data together, their work may help researchers design interventions that modulate the composition of the microbiome to promote health and to cure disease.
Microbiome data are challenging to model in part due to their compositional structure and high-dimensionality. In practice, the computational complexity of regression models designed for microbiome data analysis is compounded by large covariate spaces. To address this, the authors introduce a novel data augmentation strategy for compositional data and embed sparsity inducing priors at both levels of the model to improve the interpretability of the results. Additionally, they provide a user-friendly R package, MicroBVS, that can accommodate alternative model and prior specifications for microbiome data analysis. Their work will be presented at the “Best of Annals of Applied Statistics” session this summer at the Joint Statistical Meetings.
The Department of Statistics Celebrates its 50th Anniversary
This year the Colorado State University Department of Statistics is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It is also the 60th anniversary of its Ph.D. program and the Franklin A. Graybill Statistics and Data Science Laboratory (Stat Lab) – marking six decades of world-class education, research, service, and interdisciplinary support of the CSU community through powerful application of foundational science. Read full article here.
Zach Weller Helps to Publish Paper on Methane Leakage for EPA
Zach Weller, Assistant Professor in the Statistics Department, helped to publish a paper that estimates methane leakage from local natural gas distribution systems. The EPA has shown interest in potentially using the methodology to update its GHG inventory.
Ander Wilson an Author on the Best Environmental Epidemiology Paper Award
Ander Wilson, Assistant Professor in the Statistics department, was recently recognized as one of the authors of a paper which received the Best Environmental Epidemiology Paper Award. The paper is titled Acute Air Pollution Exposure and the Risk of Violent Behavior in the United States by Jesse D Berman, Jesse Burkhardt, Jude Bayham, Ellison Carter, and Ander Wilson. See the paper here (scroll down to the BEEP Award). Congratulations Ander!
Daniel Mork wins College Outstanding Scholar Award
Statistics PhD Student Daniel Mork won the College of Natural Sciences Outstanding Scholar Award. Dan was one of four awardees from the College of Natural Sciences at the 2020 Graduate Student Showcase. Daniel presented his research that focuses on developing new statistical methods to estimate how maternal exposures to environmental chemicals during pregnancy influence birth outcomes. This is joint work with his thesis advisor Ander Wilson.
New Course Development by Ben Prytherch
Statistic Department’s Ben Prytherch and Professor Matt Ross (Ecosystem Science and Sustainability) received a $20,000 Digital Learning Initiative grant from the Provost’s office to develop three 1-credit, online delivered, freely accessible R courses. The courses are currently being developed by Statistics students Alex Fout, Connor Gibbs, and Kathleen Wendt (PhD student in HDFS). The purpose is to serve students and faculty across the university who are teaching or taking classes that involve data analysis using R. They found that many instructors have been teaching R to their students as a component of their courses. This creates extra work for instructors and a steeper learning curve for students. These courses will allow faculty to direct their students to a high-quality set of training materials that will be accessible at any time, regardless of whether students are enrolled, and will free up time in their own classes to teach subject matter instead of teaching coding.
Grant Awarded to Andee Kaplan
The goal of this project is to develop a major methodological advancement in the Bayesian entity resolution literature with the extension of current work on streaming record linkage. The new work will allow for a data scenario where duplicates exist within a database (de-duplication) rather than being restricted to duplicates across databases (record linkage). We use recursive Bayes ideas to have near real time updates as more data becomes available (i.e., the streaming context).
Streaming Record Linkage for Online Data Deduplication (North Carolina State University Laboratory for Analytic Sciences). PI: Kaplan and Betancourt ($130,351.57; CSU: $90,623.57). Calendar Year 2021
Congratulations to our CNS Award Winners!
Congratulations Jana and Alex!
Wen Zhou Elected as ISI Member
Statistics Department's Bailey Fosdick and Alex Fout Assist with Mitigation Surveillance of COVID-19 Spread
Colorado State University has a long history of investigating infectious disease outbreaks and is known for research exploring the complex interplay of pathogens, disease vectors, and the ecosystems in which transmissions occur. CSU is focused on the translation of those findings into practical solutions used by farmers, pet owners, and patients. Read more here.
Setting the Stage: Statistical Collaboration Training Videos
Training students in the art of effective statistical collaboration is essential for their applied statistics education. Challenging situations can arise in collaborations that are necessary to discuss before they occur. Julia Sharp (CSU Associate Professor), Emily Griffith (NCSU Research Associate Professor), and Megan Higgs (Critical Inference LLC and CSU Alumni), with help from Ann Hess (CSU Associate Professor), received support from the American Statistical Association Member Initiative program to create a set of 10 short videos illustrating challenging and salient topics of communication for training in statistical collaboration. Scenarios portrayed in the videos convey realistic statistical collaboration encounters. The 10 videos and accompanying materials can be used in training future statistical collaborators. The videos can be found here.
Ben Prytherch Starts CSU Statistics Book Club
Statistics Instructor and Advisor Ben Prytherch, has started the CSU Statistics Book Club! The club started in January 2019, they read and discuss interesting topics from the world of data analysis and statistics that might not be emphasized in a stats class. Their first book was Deborah Mayo’s “Statistical Inference as Severe Testing”. In fall 2019, the club read Alex Reinhart’s “Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide”. For spring 2020, they are reading Judea Pearl’s “The Book of Why”. The book club is open to anyone! If you have questions about the group, or if you want to join, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more by checking out the CSU Statistics Book Club website, here. Happy reading!
Statistics Professor Honored for Expertise in Object - Oriented Data Analysis
Haonan Wang has been on the forefront of statistical analysis for nearly 20 years. He is well known in the statistics world for a variety of research areas, but his most innovative work is referred to as object-oriented data analysis. Read more…
SOGES Announces Sustainability Leadership Fellows
Lauren Hoskovec and Carrie Chennault from the CSU Statistics department were named SoGES sustainability leadership fellows. Congratulations Lauren and Carrie! Read more here.