Student President Candidate Platforms

As the end of the academic year draws near, it is time to find the next Department of Statistics graduate student co-Presidents. This year we have two exceptional sets of candidates. In the order in which we received their platforms, they are: Andrew Olsen & Ran (Wendy) Wei, and Jojo Wang & Marie Ozanne. Below you will find their campaign platforms. Voting will take place from Wednesday, April 9th – Friday, April 11th. You will receive an email on Wednesday with voting instructions.


Andrew Olsen & Ran (Wendy) Wei

It’s understood by many people that there’s no good solution for the following dilemma:

Grad School Resolutions

But with Andrew Olsen and Ran Wei running for graduate student co-presidents of the statistics department, you could definitely combine lots of fun with graduate study.

Here are what we are going to offer:

  • Student information sessions to help you find your dream job
  • Fun social events
  • A “data hackathon” event providing real world data analysis experience


Student Information Sessions: Workshops on Job Seeking Skills

  • Industry Jobs
    • Resume Workshop
    • Interview Skills Workshop
    • Students Sharing their Past Internship Experiences
    • Using the OSU Network to Find a Job
  • Academic Jobs
    • How to Land your Dream Academic Position — Advice from Faculty Members
    • The Road to my Academic Job — Perspectives from Upcoming Graduates


Social Events:

  • Monthly Activities:
    • Sporting Events
    • Taste of Columbus Restaurants
    • Student Culture Showcase
    • Department Traditions
      • Pi-Day Celebration
      • Ice Cream Social
      • Chili Cookoff
      • Spring Picnic
      • Columbus Zoo
  • Happy Hours


Data Hackathon:

Would you like to join the community of Big Data? Have you heard of the Kaggle competitions ( before? Now we will have our own in the department! Don’t miss it if you are (or would like to be) a data geek, or simply want to take the big fat check home! Our graduate students have won the Capital One National Modeling Competition ( ! What other competitions are out there for us to smash?

—— Data Hackathon Month, Statistics@OSU


Of course we’ll continue:

  •  updating the student blog
  •  organizing the department t-shirt design competition
  •  all the other great things previous presidents have done



Andrew Olsen

I am fourth year Ph.D. student working with Radu Herbei. My research revolves around Markov Chains and their convergence. I have lectured Stat 1450 for two years. Outside academia, I have interned with Abbott Laboratories and JPMorgan Chase, and will be an intern this upcoming summer for Capital One. I am married and have two cute little kids, and I love spending free time with them.


Ran Wei 057

Ran Wei (also known as Wendy)

I’m a fourth year Ph.D. student and am doing research on data mining, social network analysis and network sampling. I’ve been working as a research assistant, teaching assistant and statistical consultant in the department for my past graduate experience. I’ve done a summer intern at a local IT company called Manta and am going to spend my summer at Twitter as a data scientist intern this year.

Outside academic life, I enjoy all kinds of music, sports and fun stuff. You can find more about me from an earlier post on the department student blog:



Jojo Wang & Marie Ozanne

Dear students,

Over the past year, we have been inspired by the dedication and creativity former co-presidents Mark Risser and Staci White have brought to the position. We plan to continue important traditions and events started by them, while introducing a couple new ideas of our own. Specifically we plan to:

  1. Maintain the online “student blog”, to chronicle student research and activities for current and prospective students
  2. Continue the annual department t-shirt tradition
  3. Continue holding student seminars to:
    1. Allow senior students to share research interests and advisor information with students who have yet to choose a research area/advisor
    2. Have recent graduates discuss their current careers in both industry and academia
    3. Eat pizza
    4. Organize social events, including:
      1. Ice cream social at the beginning of the school year to welcome incoming students
      2. Happy Hour on Fridays throughout the school year
      3. Department potluck so that we can appreciate the cultural diversity of our department through our culinary creations
      4. Offer course and qualifier advice to younger students

As students from different class years and cultural backgrounds, we hope to use our collective experiences to serve the entire student body, staff, and faculty in the upcoming year. Thank you for your consideration,

Jojo and Marie


Is It Spring Yet?

Hello everyone,

Hope you are staying warm in this miserable winter weather — only 52 days left until Spring! Now that we are a couple of weeks into the semester, I’m sure everyone has tons of homework/research to do to keep them occupied!

Student Profiles

We are pleased to feature Agniva Som and Wendy Wei as our latest student bios!


Hello, I am Agniva Som, a fourth year PhD candidate in the Statistics department.  Those people who might struggle to say my name properly can call me Som while a lot of friends call me Tommy, which is also fine by me.  I come from the ‘slightly’ populated city of Kolkata (only 14 million people living there) located on the east side of India. Before joining the department, I got both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata.

I am working with Dr. Chris Hans and Dr. Steve MacEachern on Bayesian modeling and variable selection problems for my dissertation.  I enjoy research and hope to remain involved with it even after graduation.  Life in graduate school has been a great and quite fun experience for me so far and I have been really fortunate to make some wonderful friends here.  I like hanging out with friends and find it particularly appealing to take a night off every now and then to go out with friends from within or outside the department (a big thank you to all the different social chairs and presidents).

I am an avid fan of soccer and love watching games from the English Premier League and the European Champions League. The only bad part is that the time difference between the countries in Europe and the United States can sometimes force me to wake up quite early to watch games, and this happens too frequently for my liking.  The team I support the most is Manchester United, but let’s not discuss their performance this year. I haven’t really been playing sports myself for a few years now, but I loved playing soccer and cricket when I was back in India. I also enjoy sleeping (a LOT), watching movies and eating good food.


Hello everyone! My name is Ran Wei and my English name is Wendy. I’m currently a fourth year PhD student in Statistics. My research interest includes data mining, sampling methods and social network analysis. I’m working with Prof. Tao Shi. on these topics.

I’m originally from Hubei Province, China and came to OSU after I got my bachelor’s degree in statistics at Zhejiang University. Zhejiang University is located at Hangzhou, a city famous for a beautiful lake called ‘West Lake’, even though this city is actually at EAST coast of China, only about 100 miles south of Shanghai.

I’m currently working as a consultant in the Statistical Consulting Services (SCS) in the statistics department. I like the experience a lot. Just as the famous quote from John Tukey says “The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’e backyard”, the thing I like the most about my consulting work is that I get a chance to look at and understand datasets from various fields and backgrounds, including agriculture, biology, social work, linguistics, women’s study and even music! Before working as a consultant, my previous working experience includes being a research assistant joint with the Department of Transportation and Department of Statistics, teaching assistant of STAT 1430 and STAT 2480, and a summer internship.

In addition to diving into the world of statistics and data, I’m trying to make my life as colorful as the world of statistics. As an outgoing person, I enjoy hanging out with friends and getting to know different people and culture. Like many people, I enjoy traveling and music. I travel a lot and road trips are my favorite part. I’ve been to different types of concerts (domestic or international, tours, shows, music festival, etc) enjoying the enthusiasm singers brought to audience. Sport is another big thing in my life. Ice skating, swimming, yoga, badminton and table tennis are in the list of my favorite sports. I enjoy outdoor activities and I like adventurous sports a lot. People have once asked me why I have Wendy as my English name. The reason is that the first time I heard about this name was when I was watching the movie ‘Peter Pan’ back in middle school and I like that movie a lot. Later I checked a dictionary for English names and it says that ‘Wendy’ means a girl who loves adventuring. This makes me like the name more. Last year I took a skydiving course offered by OSU and finished my first AFF skydiving ( ) at Middletown, OH. It was a very unique and exciting experience that I would encourage anyone who is interested to take the chance during the stay at OSU since there aren’t many universities that would offer a skydiving course. Surely there are more uncertainties to be explored both inside and outside the statistics world. Hope everyone enjoys this exciting and challenging journey at graduate school!

Welcome Back!

Hello everyone,

I hope you had a great winter break and enjoyed your extra two days off! It looks like it’s going to be a cold semester, so thankfully the radiators are fixed in Cockins Hall! Here is a comic that seemed appropriate for the start of a new year.

Mark and I want to get the Student Seminar Series up and running again, so if you have any ideas for a seminar you would like us to host, please let us know. Also, best of luck to everyone who is taking MAS/Qualifying exams soon.

Have a great first (half) week back!


Ice Cream Social 2013

We hope you had an awesome first week back to school!  For everyone with a new office, hopefully your new space is nice and cozy with a working thermostat. We kicked off our social events on Sunday evening with our annual Graeter’s ice cream outing.  We had a great turnout and enjoyed the free ice cream (huge thanks to the department for picking up the tab)! Below are some pictures from the event.


Talk soon,

Staci & Mark