STAT Student Life in CBUS: Harry Potter Trivia Night (by Akira Horiguchi)


At last year’s Harry Potter trivia, we placed sixth out of roughly 20 teams. Many of the questions were simple enough, but some were so specific that even 50 read-throughs of the Harry Potter series (books 1-7) were not sufficient preparation.

This year, we sought trivia revenge as the rechristened team “Snitch, Please”.

The first half was smooth-sailing, but we hit some bumpy waters when we hit the half-time question (name 5 of the 7 departments in the Ministry of Magic). We tied for third place going into this question, but only managed to correctly get 3 departments. We dropped a few places as a result.

The second half went better than expected. After clutch answers from Caitlin and Akira, we climbed back to third place until the final question was announced and all answers were submitted.

Then came the moment of truth.

The announcer asked “Snitch, Please” and another team to answer a tiebreaker question. What did this mean? Were we tied for third place? Were we, dare we even consider it, tied for first?

We tried to push these thoughts aside when the tiebreaker question was announced, and focused on answering the question (how many chapters were in the Prisoner of Azkaban?).

The two team submitted their answers. We guessed 33. The other team guessed 32. There turned out to be 22 chapters in book three, which meant the other team won the tiebreaker.

It was then announced that the tiebreaker was indeed for first place, meaning team “Snitch, Please” placed second over 20+ teams.

Though we missed first place by a tiebreaker, we were happy to have placed in the top three and to have improved from last year.

But most of all, we were glad to live in a city (and a bar — shout out to Claddagh’s Irish Pub in German Village) that offers such niche entertainment and community.

Until next year,

“Snitch, Please”

STAT Student Life in CBUS: Rugby (by Akira Horiguchi)

Hello. My name is Akira, and I am a rugby addict.

I wasn’t always like this, you know. I just wanted to try something new, see what it was like.

Two years ago, I went to my first rugby practice. They called themselves the Columbus Coyotes.

It was all so different from anything I had done before. The raw energy. The inclusivity. The adrenaline of taking down a 300lb guy with your bare hands.

Never having played a contact sport before, I was in way over my head. But I loved it. I kept coming back for more.

Now, two years later, I’m a regular member of the team, serve on the executive board, and became certified to coach under USA Rugby.

Now, I’m in for life.

STAT Student Life in CBUS: Soccer

Starting from this particular piece, we will exhibit students’ extracurricular life in Columbus here via the departmental student blog. If you wish to make a contribution and show your life outside the academic settings to others, please don’t hesitate to contact me ( or Zaynab (

Look forward to emails from many of you!

We initiate from contributions from Achal and Min Ho. Many thanks to both of you for sharing!

Achal’s comes first: 

My name is Achal Awasthi, and I am in the MAS program in the department. I play amateur soccer for a club called AUFC that plays in the Columbus Premier Soccer League. We play each Sunday at Easton Soccer Fields, Columbus. It’s the most professional amateur soccer league in the state of Ohio.


Below is a contribution from Min Ho Cho: 

Hi everyone! I am Min Ho Cho, a third-year Ph.D. student in Statistics.

Today, I wish to introduce my favorite sport, soccer. Because I have been playing soccer since I was very young, I cannot even imagine my life without this sport. I have also continued to play soccer in Columbus, Ohio as soon as I arrived here in summer 2015. I play every Saturday morning usually in the Lincoln field or some parks near campus, but sometimes in the Adventure Recreation Center (ARC) when it rains or snows. I am a defensive midfielder on my team, Korean Student Soccer Club (KSSC) at OSU.

On November 4th Saturday, we joined the competition called 2017 Korean Buckeye Tournament. Among many Korean teams of big universities near OSU such as UM, MSU, Purdue U, IU, and CWRU, our team got the 4th place. Even though we did not win the champion, every member did our best and played so hard. Especially when we won a come-from-behind victory in only a few minutes left in the last game, everyone including coaches and managers ran into the field and became one team! It was such a drama and I will never forget the moment.

Besides soccer, I also like to play baseball, basketball and other sports. Last year, some faculty members and students used to play pickup soccer and basketball in the ARC. If there is a chance to do again, I would love to join you! Thank you all and have a good time to study and enjoy our healthy life here at OSU!

Student Profiles: 2017-2018 Student Co-Presidents

Zaynab Diallo (right) and Chenxi Zhou (left)

Zaynab Diallo 

Hello everyone,

My name is Zaynab Diallo, and I am from Dakar, Senegal. I am a second year Ph.D. student in Statistics, and this year I have the honor to serve as one of the co-Presidents for 2017-2018 academic year. Before coming to The Ohio State University, I lived in Iowa for 5 years and graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S in Mathematics and Statistics.

People often ask me why Statistics of all the majors in the world? Just last week, I requested my STAT 1350 students to write a statistics related question on a piece of paper and bring it to recitation as part of their midterm preparation. The goal was to get them to think about the material and figure out how they would formulate a question from a concept they do not understand. One student decided to ask me instead why I choose Statistics (my fault for not being specific enough on the nature of the questions). Even though I didn’t respond to the question for the interest of time, it made me laugh and also brought back memories.

I fell in love with Statistics after I took a course in Mathematical Statistics at Iowa State University during my junior year while I was hunting for math-related majors. I think at that particular point of time, I wanted something more tangible than Math. I also wanted a major that was less broad and that would lend me a good job. Statistics will get me the latter (eventually), but I was so wrong about the breadth.

As far as the research area is concerned, I am still at the exploration stage. Two courses that I really enjoyed were Applied Regression (STAT 6950) and Applied Bayesian Analysis (STAT 6570) because there was a final project involved in both of them, and they allowed me to apply what I was learning in theory.

One of the things I love the most about being in this program is being a TA and working in the tutor room. The interactions with the students keep me motivated. Even though recitations feel like a monologue sometimes, I am witnessing students’ growth every day. My hope is to teach one day, so being a TA in the department is a very good opportunity. One thing that I like less is grading. 🙁

Outside of the department, I like going to the movies and watching Senegalese dramas on YouTube. I also hope to start reading novels again and take Taekwondo classes by the end of the year.

I know I have been all over the place throughout this post, but I want to end with this:

This year I have taken one step out of my comfort zone to become one of the co-Presidents alongside Chenxi. I am always open to talk to any student on how to enhance their graduate school experience in the department. My office is Room 404 in the Math Building (MA) and my email is

Thank you all for your attention. 🙂


Chenxi Zhou

Hi everyone, my name is Chenxi Zhou, and I am a third year Ph.D. student in statistics. Originally I came from Zhengzhou, Henan Province in China. I came to the United States in 2011 for my undergraduate studies at OSU and majored in both mathematics and economics in the honors program.

In terms of research, I am broadly interested in statistical learning, high-dimensional statistics, and optimization in statistics. Currently, I am working and reading with Dr. Vincent Vu on some interesting problems. Also, I am attending the Statistical Learning and Data Mining Reading Group and serving as the student coordinator. If you are also in this reading group, with probability equal to 1, you will see me there and receive emails from me.

As a graduate student, one responsibility is teaching. I love teaching and communicating with other people. I am teaching two sections of STAT 4202 recitation this semester.

When I am not doing statistics, I am keen on swimming, jogging and muscle building, one corollary of which is that you can see me at RPAC very frequently. Besides that, I also enjoy trying food of different countries, and Columbus is such a big city that you can find all kinds of food you can think of. I especially love Chinese Szechuan food which is famous for being very spicy. I am also a big fan of Japanese food (ramen and sashimi in particular), Korean barbeque and Indian and Thai curry. If you want restaurant recommendations of these food, feel free to contact me!

Now my office is Cockins Hall 305E, at the opposite side of our computing lab. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to stop by my office or email me at Wish everyone a great semester!