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Using data for social good: Microsoft funds UBC and UW

Microsoft has provided $1 million to fund UBC and the University of Washington in a data science initiative, the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative.  As UBC President Ono said in the UBC press release, which gives details of the initiative, "Thanks to this generous gift from Microsoft, our two universities are poised to help transform the Cascadia region into a...

UBC Science undergrad students shine in Actuarial Science!

Undergraduates Katie Li (Statistics), Jenny Song (Mathematics), and David Yin (Statistics and Computer Science) won first place in the ANÉA-ASNA Case Competition 2017 (ASNA = Actuarial Students National Association). They beat out 10 other teams, with their development of a method for estimating an insurer’s liability from future claims.

See a photo on the UBC Science Facebook page.

The expenses of their travel to the Toronto...

Rick White Memorial Fund

The Rick White Memorial Fund was established late last year, to honour Rick’s memory. Rick, who passed away September 2, 2016, was a long time member of the department, an accomplished statistical consultant and data scientist, and a wonderful mentor, leader, and colleague. 

You can learn more about the fund and about Rick on the department web page:

and on...

Thorne-Tanabe Graduate Entrance Scholarship Recipients

This year, we were honoured by the generosity of Anona Thorne and Takao Tanabe, who established the Anona Thorne and Takao Tanabe Graduate Entrance Scholarship. Anona Thorne (BA '91 Mathematics; MSc '93 Statistics) is a double alumna of UBC and went on to an interesting career using her statistics training at the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at Saint Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. Takao Tanabe is an internationally acclaimed Canadian painter.

The recipients for 2016 are Sonja...

Call for Nominations: Department of Statistics Award in Data Science

The Department of Statistics is soliciting nominations for the recently established Department of Statistics Award in Data Science, an award to recognize the importance of developing and applying tools to answer important questions through the analysis of data. This $1000 award is offered to an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated initiative and creativity in making outstanding contributions in the field of Data Science. The award is made on the recommendation of the...

Jenny Bryan elected to Ordinary Membership in the R Foundation

Faculty member Jenny Bryan has been honoured with her election to Ordinary Membership in the R Foundation, joining the ranks of those who, through their work, have contributed substantially to the R project. We all know and love R—it has been an essential part of the statistician’s toolbox for many years now. Its use has expanded far beyond the world of statisticians, leading IEEE to rank it as the fifth most popular programming...

Jim Zidek: a research project for WHO's Global Air Pollution Health Effects Model

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently announced results of a study carried out by an international team of researchers led by Gavin Shaddick of the University of Bath and including Jim Zidek. Professor Shaddick is a long-time collaborator of Jim Zidek’s and a frequent visitor to the UBC Statistics Department. Some of the work on the study was done while Dr Zidek was the Global Chair at the Institute for Mathematical Innovation at the University of Bath. The research team has...

First Recipients of the Dr John & Barbara Petkau Scholarships

The first recipients of the Dr John and Barbara Petkau Scholarships are Shuxian Fan and Janet Lam.

Shuxian is entering Year 3 of her program, as a Statistics major. She is taking several Statistics and Economics courses in the coming year. Janet is entering Year 4 of her program, as a Statistics major with a minor in Computer Science. She has been in the Statistics co-op program for the summer 2015 to summer 2016 terms. She will finish her program with two study terms, taking...

In Memory of Rick White: 1964 - 2016

It is with great sadness that we write that our colleague, Rick White, passed away some time during the night of September 1 – 2.

The BC Flag (at Main Mall and Agronomy Road) will be lowered on Thursday, September 15th, in memory of Rick. Members of the Department of Statistics will gather at the flag pole at 1:00pm to share our stories of Rick. Everyone is welcome to join in.

Rick was a UBC alumnus, receiving his BSc in Mathematics...

Professor Jiahua Chen receives ICSA's Distinguished Achievement Award

Professor Jiahua Chen has been honoured by the International Chinese Statistical Association, receiving the ICSA’s Distinguished Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the theory of statistics, particularly in the design of experiments, sampling theory, empirical likelihood, finite mixture models, and statistical genetics; for his service to the statistical profession through editorial work and leadership in statistical societies; and for his role as mentor and advisor to...