Congratulations December 2008 Graduates!

December,  2008

The Department of Statistics extends congratulations to all of our December 2008 graduates. On December 21, 2008, Purdue University and the Department of Statistics awarded degrees to the following people:


Ph.D. Graduates (Advisor) Dissertation Title
  • Mr. Xiaoli Qi (Bruce A. Craig) "Nonparametric Calibration of Two Common Susceptibility Tests Using Interval-Censored Data with Measurement Error"
  • Ms. Suk-Young Yoo (Rebecca W. Doerge) "Statistical Methods for Integrating Epigenomic Results"
M.S. Graduates
  • Ms. Alexandra Chronopoulou
  • Mr. Yunxiao He
Graduate Certificates
  • Mr. Sangbok Lee
  • Mr. Maricio Melgarejo
Undergraduates in Statistics
  • Mr. Kyle Allen
  • Ms. Denise Bradford
  • Ms. Irene Brian
  • Ms. Allison Horst
  • Mr. James Humphrey
  • Ms. Nora Li
  • Mr. Zhiwei Li
  • Mr. Zachary Murphy
  • Mr. Bryan White
  • Mr. Anoumou Amewou-Atisso
Actuarial Science Majors
  • Mr. Kyle Allen
  • Ms. Irene Brian
  • Mr. James Humphrey
  • Ms. Nora Li
  • Mr. Zachary Murphy

For the calendar year 2008, the Department of Statistics graduated 8 Ph.D. students, 18 M.S. students, 7 Graduate Certificate students, 37 undergraduate Statistics students and 28 Actuarial Science students.

This semester we're featuring two outstanding graduates: Irene Brian and James Humphrey.

Irene Brian

"Irene has proven herself to be one of the best of the best," says Richard Penney, Director of the Actuarial Science program and Professor of Mathematics. In just six semesters, Irene completed her coursework to receive her Bachelor of Science degree with a

Irene Brian

major in statistics and actuarial science and a minor in management. This feat was accomplished through a combination of transfer credit, testing out of courses, and taking heavy course loads. In one semester she completed 20 hours of coursework including four of the most difficult courses in the program, STAT 417, STAT 420, STAT 473, and STAT 512. "We recommend that students take no more than two of these classes together," says Penney. "How she completed this difficult schedule with straight As is a remarkable story that says much about her work ethic."

In addition to her heavy course loads, Irene worked to put herself through college as well. While on campus she held positions as a teaching assistant and grader for the Department of Statistics. Professor Chuanhai Liu, who was her professor for STAT 350 and later worked with her when she was a TA for STAT 350 says, "Irene is definitely one of the best students and TAs; she's smart, hard-working, and responsible." Irene was also a research assistant for the Discovery Learning Center. This past summer she worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in Chicago as a Brand Protection and Financial Services Intern.

Irene was selected as the College of Science Outstanding Sophomore in Actuarial Science in 2008. She is a member of the Purdue Actuary Club and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is honored to have been selected by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars to attend the Inauguration Ceremony of President Barack Obama.

Irene has accepted a position with Blue Cross Blue Shield in Chicago, Illinois.

James Humphrey

"I would compare any one of the top five or six students from this class of forty bright students with the best in any year. However, James Humphrey was, without question, the top of this impressive group, so much so that he was in a league of his own. Whenever there was any technical question, the class motto was 'Ask James,'" says Penney. Before James came to Purdue he was already experiencing academic success, graduating as the class valedictorian from Danville Community High School. After seven semesters at Purdue, James received a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in actuarial science (honors) and statistics and minors in management and economics with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

James Humphrey

To become an "Actuary," an individual must become an Associate, and ultimately a Fellow, of one of the professional societies (Society of Actuaries (SOA) or Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS)). This requires passing eight or nine actuarial exams. The Purdue Actuarial Science program provides preparation for the first five actuarial exams, FM, P, MFE, MLC, and C. To date, James has passed the P, FM, MLC, and MFE exams.

"His work for the Actuary Club has been impressive as well," says Penney. James initially served as the "Resume Book Coordinator" for the club but through his vision and efforts he redefined the role and the position has been renamed the "Professional Development Coordinator." This spring, on his own initiative, he coordinated a workshop entitled ?Everything You Need to Know about Getting a (Good) Full-time Job,? which featured an actuary from Indianapolis as a guest speaker. James also did research on how other schools structure their recruiting in order to identify ways to improve on Purdue's process. (Unlike many other programs, all on campus recruiting is done through the Actuary Club.) In the fall, he organized a resume workshop led by three actuaries at CNA. He took a more active role in compiling the members? resumes, reviewing each and every resume, making suggestions where appropriate, and meeting with individuals who had questions about their resumes or the interview process in general. His efforts helped students be better prepared and polished for interviewing.

During the three summers of his Purdue career, James gained valuable work experience working as an intern for three different companies, two in Indianapolis, IN and one in Fort Wayne, IN.

Some of his honors include twice receiving the College of Science Outstanding Student in Actuarial Science award, being selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and being a six-time scholarship recipient.

He has accepted a position with WellPoint, a health benefits company, in Indianapolis, IN working as an actuarial student.

Congratulations to all of our graduates! We wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you!

January 2009