Student Profiles – November 2015

Sophie and I are happy to share our first two student profiles…this is a close look at two of our graduate students within the department.  If you would like to write and submit one for a future blog update, let one of us know and we’d be glad to include it!

Akira Horiguchi

Hi, my name is Akira and I’m a first year PhD student in statistics.

It has only been a month and I’ve learned so much from my classes. From 6910, my R skills have improved tremendously. In 6801, sigma algebras finally make sense. In Math4545, Professor deLaubenfels introduces some juicy tidbits, but has the unfortunate habit of ending class on a cliffhanger. He has done this twice now. Because of this class, I’ve been thinking of a few things in my free time: (1) the sum of all positive integers equals -1/12; (2) the Dirichlet function is not Riemann integrable but is integrable in a different sense; (3) there is a function that is discontinuous on the rationals, continuous on the irrationals, and is Riemann integrable on [0,1].

Outside of class I’ve been cooking to avoid eating out so much. To contrast Sophie’s and Justin’s nature pics, here’s what I’ve been making.

Non-math/stats books are enjoyable too. Haruki Murakami (named one of the TIME’s 100 most influential people in April 2015!) is always a fun ride. His books are like murder mysteries without the murder, so if you’re looking for a book recommendation, please ask!
Min Ho Cho

Hi everyone! I am Min Ho Cho (or just call me MINO), a first year PhD student in Statistics. I came from Cheong-ju, which is not a big city, but located in the center of South Korea. I originally studied IT (Information Technology) and Business for my BS in University of Newcastle, Australia (2011), and Statistics for my MS in Sungkyunkwan University, Korea (2015). In 2012 and 2013, I also worked at the Air Force Academy in Korea as a soldier and research assistant. The military service is mandatory for Korean men as you know, however, it was a great experience.


Although I have interests in some specific research areas in Statistics for sure, I mainly focus on coursework like theory and applied statistics in this semester as a first year student. In addition, I am taking ESL courses to improve my English. For around 4 months since I arrived here, I have been very satisfied with life in Columbus, especially in the OSU Stat due to nice weather and kind people. Now I am grading homework and exams for STAT 3450 and 3470, and working as a tutor for a few hours in CH 134 on Thursday and Friday.


For my hobby, I am crazy about SPORTS, particularly playing soccer and baseball. When I was in Australia and Korea, I usually played as a defensive midfielder for soccer and a short stop or third base for baseball. I like Chelsea in the English Premier League though I was wearing the Man City jersey in the picture. I also enjoyed marathon (but not full course, just half) and cycling in summer and snowboarding in winter. These days, I started a new sport, squash, so I play every Tuesday and Thursday in the evening in the RPAC. Besides sports, other activities are all welcome!

My office is 420 in Cockins hall. I hope you guys have a wonderful time here and feel free to talk to me!

Student Profiles – Co-Presidents Edition

Throughout the year, we want to feature some graduate students on here via student profiles!    If you are interested in doing this, please let one of us know; otherwise, we will randomly select some people to be featured.  We will go ahead and do the first one, just to give a sense of what we’re going for here.


Sophie Nguyen

Hi everyone, I am Huong (Sophie) Nguyen, a fourth year PhD student in Statistics. I am originally from Ha Noi, Vietnam. Before OSU, I got my BS in Accounting and Business Management – Finance concentration from Truman State University and my MS in Statistics from University of Wyoming.

I have just started to work on my own research after finishing all the required courses. Currently, I am reading with Dr. Craigmile and Dr. Pratola on spatial statistics and design of computer experiments. If you are attending either Spatial and Environmental Statistics or Design of Physical and Computer Experiments reading groups this semester, you will see me there.

In terms of teaching and working, I was a teaching assistant for STAT 1350 and now I am a consultant with the Statistical Consulting Service (SCS). Both positions give me the opportunity to cooperate with people outside of statistics and thus, learn to communicate statistical findings using non-technical language.

Outside of class, I love cooking and can get quite creative with my recipes with which I have a few successes and a few misses. I am also very into sports (badminton and basketball) and outdoor activities (mostly hiking and rock climbing). I have played badminton since I was ten years old and was trained for several years. When I was in Wyoming, I started to do a lot of hiking and some rock climbing and have come to love both. Here are some amazing trails in Wyoming.

rr1   snow3

My office is 305E in Cockins Hall which is at the other end of the hall from our computer lab. Feel free to stop by my office or email me if you have any question.

Justin Strait

Hey everyone – my name is Justin Strait and I’m a third year PhD student within the department.  I was born in South Korea but grew up a “military brat” (as we’re so affectionately called).  I’ve lived in 9 different states/countries throughout my life, including England, but claim Colorado Springs, CO as my hometown as that’s where I have lived the longest so far.  I went to the University of Utah for my undergrad, getting a dual BS in Mathematics and Atmospheric Science.  Unfortunately, my weather knowledge is actually fairly poor, so I would not recommend asking me questions about why you can’t feel your toes in January.  When I’m not doing statistics, I love sports (and follow college football and tennis almost obsessively), enjoy skiing (but have never gone to any of the hills in Ohio) and being outdoors…and that’s about it.  I’m going to try to one-up Sophie’s Wyoming pics with some pics of Colorado:



In terms of statistics, right now my research interests are: statistics (?).  I’m at that point where coursework is starting to wrap up somewhat in favor of research, and so I’m currently trying to figure out what I am interested in.  I’m excited to start working/reading this semester with Dr. Kurtek on some topics in statistical shape analysis, as well as participate in the Spatial and Environmental Statistics reading group.  In terms of teaching, I’ve been a TA for STAT 1350 every semester since I started here at OSU (5 in total), including 2 semesters as lecturer…I think the class has done leaps and bounds for my ability to explain things to non-technical crowds.  My office is now MA 456 (through the door that’s in the stairwell between the third and fourth floor of Cockins), but I’m typically camped out in the 3rd floor computer lab, so feel free to talk to me if you have any questions.  Best wishes to everyone this semester!