Welcome New Faculty and Students

August,  2005

The Department of Statistics would like to welcome all of our new faculty and students. Six new faculty members, Jeff Beckley, Guy Lebanon, Chuanhai Liu, Michael Roeckner, Dabao Zhang, and Min Zhang have joined the department this fall.

Jeff Beckley

Jeff Beckley joined the Department of Statistics as "Actuarial Fellow in Residence," with a Continuing Lecturer title. He has a joint appointment with the Deparment of Mathematics. Jeff has spent 25 years working as a practicing actuary and continues to work as a consulting actuary in the life and health insurance field. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (1980) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (1982). He is also involved with the Education Committee of the Society of Actuaries. He will be teaching STAT 170 Introduction to Actuarial Science this fall.

Guy Lebanon

Guy Lebanon joined the Department of Statistics as an Assistant Professor. He has a joint appointment with Electrical Computer Engineering (ECE). Guy received a B.A. and M.S. degree in Computer Science from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and a M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. The focus of his work at Carnegie Mellon University was concerned with the application of Riemannian geometry to machine learning and analyzing ranked data. After earning his Ph.D. degree, Guy completed a brief five month Post-Doctorate with his advisor, John Lafferty. Guy's main research interest is machine learning as applied to large data sets. His work has applied mostly to text documents such as web pages and email documents. Dr. Lebanon is interested in pursuing other applications of his work to such areas as image analysis and bioinformatics. He will be teaching ECE 302 Probabilistic Methods In Electrical and Computer Engineering this fall.

Chuanhai Liu

Chuanhai Liu joined the Department of Statistics as a Professor. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1994. For the last ten years, he has been working at Bell-Labs, Murray Hill, New Jersey. His research interests include Bayesian, Computational Methods for Statistical Inference, Computer Languages and Environments for Data Analysis, Multiple Comparisons, Time Series, and Missing Data and Multiple Imputation. He will be teaching STAT 598C Computational Statistics this semester.

Michael Roeckner

Michael Roeckner has joined the Department of Statistics as a Professor. He has a joint appointment with the Department of Mathematics. He received his Ph.D in 1984 from Bielefeld University, Germany. He taught for four years as a Lecturer/Reader at the University of Edinburgh and was a Professor at Bonn and Bielefeld University. His research interests are mainly in Probability Theory, particularly in Stochastic Analysis, but also in Analysis (PDE) and Mathematical Physics (Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory). He is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz (one of the seven German academies), and a member of the presiding committee of the German Mathematical Society (DMV). He will be teaching MA 694R Introduction to Stochastic Partial Differential Equations.

Dabo Zhang

Dabao Zhang has joined the Department of Statistics as an Assistant Professor. Dabao Zhang received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 2003. He comes to Purdue University from the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York where he was an Assistant Professor. His research interests include multivariate statistics (especially multivariate extreme values), Bayesian variable selection for large p small n data, shrinkage estimation and statistical analysis of genomic/proteomic data. He will be teaching STAT 598D Applied Survival Analysis this semester.

Min Zhang

Min Zhang has joined the Department of Statistics as an Assistant Professor. Min Zhang obtained her M.D. from Hebei Medical University, and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Beijing Medical University (now Peking University Health Science Center). Hoping to bridge the gap between biomedical and quantitative worlds, she entered the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and earned her Ph.D. in 2005. Her research interests include Inference for High Dimensional Data and/or Missing Data, Model Selection, Proteomics, QTL Mapping, and Physician Profiling in Health Care. She will be teaching STAT 503 Statistical Methods for Biology this semester.

Thirty-four new graduate students including nine Ph.D. students, eighteen M.S. students, and seven Graduate Certificate students have entered the Department of Statistics graduate program. The new graduate students attended a pizza party and orientation hosted by the department on Sunday, August 14, 2005. The following week students attended several orientations and workshops to get them started at Purdue. Doug Crabill, Manager, Computer Systems, instructed a computer class on the computing facilities within the Department of Statistics and at Purdue University. Other activities during the past week included STAT Department Vista Training, CETA/CIE Teaching Assistant Orientation, Micro Teaching Workshop, STAT 225 and STAT 301 TA Training sessions and a Graduate School Convocation. A reception in honor of the the new students was held on Friday, Aug. 19, 2005, in MATH 304 for all the Department of Statistics faculty, staff and students.

Currently, the Department of Statistics has 44 faculty members, 14 full and part-time staff members, and 97 graduate students (61 Ph.D. students and 36 M.S. students).

August 2005