Assistant Professor Darren Homrighausen, in his second year in our department, delivered a series of invited lectures entitled "Statistical Machine Learning Methods in Economics" at the annual, plenary conference of the Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET) in Hong Kong during Spring 2013. Additionally, in Fall 2013, Dr. Homrighausen (in collaboration with Dr. McDonald at Indiana University and Dr. Shalizi at Carnegie Mellon University) was awarded a grant from INET entitled “High-Dimensional Statistics for Macroeconomic Forecasting” for developing modern theory and methodology for time series applications in economics. Congratulations, Darren!
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ADD YEAR FOR MS: Brandy Sinco received her MS (year??) in Statistics via distance under the direction of Professor Phil Chapman. Brandy worked with Phil on a project that explored the theory behind structural equation modeling (SEM) and applied it to a path analysis model to explain the process by which blood sugar changes in a behavioral diabetes intervention.
SEM is sometimes referred to as the marriage between regression analysis and factor analysis. In SEM, there is a system of linear equations, based on a diagram that specifies the relationships between the variables. SEM allows for both observable (manifest) variables, such as voltage and temperature, and latent variables (non-observable), such as anxiety and depression. Further, variables that are outcomes in one equation can be predictors in another equation. So, outcomes and predictors are not mutually exclusive in SEM.
After graduation, Brandy submitted an abstract to the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting in San Francisco, which emphasized the theoretical aspect of her project. She was honored by having her abstract selected for the APHA Student Research Award session, and her registration fee waived by the APHA Applied Public Health Statistics section. Her presentation was well-received at APHA and several co-workers attended.
Brandy also presented a paper at the Midwest SAS Users Group (MWSUG) in Columbus, Ohio, focusing on the SAS code used in her MS research. Brandy notes that before submitting to MWSUG, she had the same abstract rejected by the SAS Global Forum. Brandy advises CSU graduates to make every effort to share their research at conferences and not to be discouraged if an abstract is rejected.
The paper version of Brandy’s MWSUG presentation was reviewed by the lead programmer of Proc CALIS at SAS Institute. Her presentation at the conference was well-received and she received the “Best Paper” award from the “Advanced Analytics” section. Congratulations, Brandy!
Andrea Vigil, a freshman at CSU, is the first recipient of the Leslie Cavarra Buttorff Scholarship in Statistics. This scholarship was established by alumna and CEO/President of Quintel Management Consulting, Leslie Cavarra Buttorff, to support undergraduate students majoring in statistics. The purpose of the scholarship is to help students learn about the statistics degree and the rewarding career benefits enabled by the degree. Congratulations Andrea!
Dan Cooley serves as PI for a joint NSF- and DOE-funded collaborative grant investigating extreme weather changes as a result of natural and anthropogenic forcings. The team is comprised of statisticians, climate scientists, and social scientists based at CSU, UC-Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and UNC Chapel Hill. The 5-year grant totals $4.9M.
At this project's core is a goal to address three areas which are critical to understanding extreme events, but whose methods are not yet developed enough to answer impact-relevant questions. First, the investigators will advance and develop multivariate statistical methods which can describe and model extreme events which arise from a combination of meteorological factors which may or may not individually be extreme. Second, the investigators will advance spatial downscaling methods to be applicable to studying extreme phenomena which occur at spatial scales not resolved by climate models. Third, the investigators will put the study of detection of changes in extremes and attribution of extreme events on a solid statistical foundation, and to apply the spatial and multivariate techniques to this area. The participants will collaborate with social scientists in incorporating the improved methodology developed into models that analyze the impact of extreme weather events on agricultural production and the forestry sector for specific regions of the US. They will also develop risk assessment measures that take into account possible increases in the frequency of extreme weather events.
IS THIS TRUE?? Harold Gomes received his Master of Applied Statistics degree as a member of the inaugural graduating class of 2013. During his time at CSU, Harold applied for a Presidential Management Fellowship, which included a grueling assessment process alongside his MAS coursework. Harold was selected for this prestigious fellowship, which has served as the federal government’s premier initiative for recruiting and developing top talent from graduate schools across the country since its establishment in 1977. Harold is now employed by the US Department of Education. Congratulations, Harold!
The Department of Statistics is pleased to welcome Xiaowen Hu as a special-appointment assistant professor, contributing to our undergraduate teaching mission. Xiaowen received her PhD in 2013 from Southern Methodist University. Already, she has been named a 2014 CSU Center for Teaching and Learning (TILT) Teaching Fellow. As part of this program Xiaowen will develop new teaching materials for STAT311, our undergraduate course for psychology majors and other students in the social sciences. She is also developing materials for CSU OnlinePlus version of the course. Congratulations Xiaowen!
Cristian Oliva Aviles, a second year graduate student in our department, was named an International Presidential Fellow at Colorado State University. The program introduces CSU graduate students to research at CSU and develops their leadership potential. The goal is to build bridges across the CSU campus and abroad after students return to their home countries. Cristian is from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Before starting his undergraduate major in Mathematics at the Autonomous University of Yucatan, Cristian represented Mexico in the International Mathematical Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam, earning a Bronze Medal. As an active member of Colorado State’s Latinoamerican Students and Scholars Organization (LASSO), he participates as a dancer in a musical group called Raices Latinas, sharing with other members of the community the beautiful and wider latinoamerican culture.