Statistics and Biostatistics Graduate Student Poster Session

Happy Thursday everyone,

Last Thursday (09/24/2015), instead of a regular guest talk in the cozy Cockins Hall 240, we all enjoyed a poster session by our graduate students. We had a great time learning about all the exciting projects that our students are working on. Here are some pictures of the day:









You can find more pictures on our department Facebook For an updated schedule of our departmental seminars, you can go to Below is the list of student participants and their projects:

Brittney Bailey Analysis of Individually Randomized Group Treatment Trials with Binary Outcomes
Andrew Bean Transformations and Bayesian Density Estimation
Mark Burch Statistical Estimation and Inference for Network-Based Stochastic Epidemic Models
Po-Hsu Chen Sequential Pareto Optimization of Physical Systems Using Calibrated Computer Simulators
Jeff Gory Bayesian Inference of Selection Using the Wright-Fisher Diffusion
Yanan Jia Bilinear Mixed Effects Models for Affiliation Networks: Segregation of Adolescents in Their Extracurricular Activities
Liubo Lu Trend-Filtered Projection for PCA
Rong Lu Allele-Specific RNA Expression Modeling Using Finite Mixture
Yi Lu Bayesian Registration of Functions
Michael Matthews Partially Sequential Median Ranked Set Sample Test Procedure
Anna Mohr Comparing Networks of Different Sizes
Amy Stark The Relationship Among Toxicity, Response, and Survival Profiles Ultimately Influence Calling a Beneficial Drug Favorable Under Standard Phase I, II, and III Clincal Trial Designs
Yuan Tian Distribution of Gene Tree Histories Under the Coalescent Model with Gene Flow
Jojo Wang Empirical Bayes Model Averaging Under Model Misfit
Weiyi Xie Metric-Based Boxplots for Functional Data in the Presence of Time-Warping Variability

Thank you everyone for coming!

Sophie & Justin

T-shirts available

Happy Friday everyone,

Below are some t-shirt designs and sizes that we are having in stock. If you want to get any of these t-shirts, you can email either me or Justin, and we can get them for you.

Grey – short sleeved front and back: These t-shirts are $5 each and are available in M, L, XL and XXL.

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Black – long sleeved front and back: These t-shirts are $8 each and are available in M, L, XL and XXL.


White – short sleeved front (there is no design on the back side): These t-shirts are $8 each and are available in M and L.


Red – long sleeved front (there is no design on the back side): These t-shirts are $10 each and are available in XS, S, M and L.


Also, thank you everyone for coming to the pizza party to welcome new students. Hope you guys enjoy this coming long weekend.

Sophie & Justin

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!

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year!

Hello everybody,

First of all, we would like to welcome all of the new faces in the department. Congratulations! You made it and we are so happy to have you join us. Also, we would like to welcome back everybody who is returning from their summer. Hopefully everyone has had an awesome summer and is ready for the new school year.

To start things off in a fashionable way, we had our first department hangout at Graeter’s Ice cream last Sunday (08/23/2015). We enjoyed free Graeter’s ice cream, nice weather and caught up with each other. Here are some pictures from it:


A big thanks to everybody for coming.  We hope everyone has a wonderful semester!

Sophie & Justin

Welcome to the Spring Semester!

Welcome back! We hope you all had a restful break and are ready to tackle the spring semester. Here are a couple of events to look forward to in the next couple of weeks!

Potluck Party
We will hold a potluck party on NEXT Friday, January 23rd, from 11:30 to 13:30 in CH212. All the faculty, staff, and students are invited to bring their best dish. Even if you don’t get a chance to prepare one, please feel free to come and enjoy the food from around the world. To make it more fun, we will vote for the Best Entree, Best Salad, Best Dessert, and Best Vegetarian Dish after the party. A beloved department t-shirt will go to each winning chef.
Internship Info Session
Looking for an internship for the summer? We will be holding a student seminar where your fellow graduate students will share their previous internship experiences. You will get information on where to look for internships, how to apply, and what you can hope to gain from a summer internship. This will be held on February 3rd at 11:30 in CH 212. More details will be forthcoming, but save the date!
Department T-shirt Design Contest
We will be holding our annual department t-shirt design contest, where students will submit their designs and the department will vote on their favorite. Look for an email with more details about the competition.
Jojo & Marie

Good luck on exams!

As a busy semester draws to a close, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone good luck as they finish exams and projects. Just a few more days, and it will be time for a well-deserved break. Finish strong!

Happy Holidays!

Jojo & Marie


Positive energy from our graduates

New school year has began. How is everyone doing?

Before we get drowned into our busy school life in no time, our four excellent graduates from the program, Xin, Cindy, Wei and Xiaoxi, are here to provide us some with positive energy. They have all graduated before last summer, and let’s listen to what they would like to say to us!



Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!

It’s that time of year again! First, on behalf of the entire department, we wish to extend a warm welcome to all incoming students, and to welcome back all returning students.

Our first official department social event this past Sunday was a great success! Faculty, students, and their families came out for great conversation and Graeter’s ice cream. Nothing puts smiles on statisticians’ faces like free ice cream, courtesy of the Statistics department.

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Here’s wishing everyone the best of luck as you start your first week of classes!!

Marie & Jojo


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!