Category Archives: Department of Statistics

ATTENTION: No registration changes Aug 15-17


On Mon-Wed, Aug 15-17, registration for statistics courses will be restricted to new graduate students only. This means ONLY the MS and PhD students that are just starting this Fall 2016 term can register on these days.

DO NOT make ANY changes to your statistics course registration on these days.

Any attempt to change sections or change courses will likely result in losing your seat.

If your seat is taken, we CAN’T help you re-register.

Registration is planned to return to normal on Thursday morning during business hours. An announcement will be sent to announce this. In case of delays, please do not make changes to your statistics registration until you receive the announcement.

Statistics Seminar – Thursday, April 14, 2016 – Dr. Aleksey Polunchenko

“Quickest Change-Point Detection: The Shiryaev–Roberts Approach”

Dr. Aleksey Polunchenko, State University of New York at Binghamton


Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016

Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Engineering Hall Room 106B1

Sponsor: Department of Statistics



Sequential (quickest) change-point detection is the branch of statistics concerned with the design and analysis of methods for rapid but reliable anomaly detection in “live” monitored processes. The subject’s areas of application are virtually unlimited, and include quality and process control, anomaly and failure detection, surveillance and security, finance, seismology, navigation, intrusion detection, boundary tracking—to name a few. We provide a brief overview of the state-of-the-art in quickest change-point detection with particular emphasis placed on the recently proposed Generalized Shiryaev–Roberts (GSR) detection procedure (it was proposed in 2008, but the paper came out only in 2011). Notwithstanding its relatively “young age”, the GSR procedure has already been shown to have strong optimality properties not exhibited by such mainstream detection methods as the Cumulative Sum (CUSUM) “inspection scheme” and the Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA) chart.


Statistics Seminar – Thursday, April 07, 2016 – Dr. Venu Veeravalli

Statistics Seminar


“Adaptive Sequential Learning”

Dr. Venu Veeravalli: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ECE, CSL, and ITI)


Date: Thursday, April 07, 2016

Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Engineering Hall Room 106B1

Sponsor: Department of Statistics



A framework is introduced for solving a sequence of slowly changing optimization problems, including those arising in regression and classification applications, using optimization algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent (SGD). The optimization problems change slowly in the sense that the minimizers change at either a fixed or bounded rate. A method based on estimates of the change in the minimizers and properties of the optimization algorithm is introduced for adaptively selecting the number of samples needed from the distributions underlying each problem in order to ensure that the excess risk, i.e., the expected gap between the loss achieved by the approximate minimizer produced by the optimization algorithm and the exact minimizer, does not exceed a target level. Experiments with synthetic and real data are used to confirm that this approach performs well.

SAMSI’s Interdisciplinary Workshop for Undergraduate Students: May 22-27, 2016

Interdisciplinary Workshop for Undergraduate Students
May 22-27, 2016

This workshop will take place at SAS Hall, NC State University Campus, Raleigh, NC.

The application deadline is April 1, 2016.

This week long workshop provides an introduction to applied mathematical and statistical research in the area of computational neuroscience and forensics. Talks will be presented by statisticians and applied mathematicians who work with analyzing imaging, finger printing and many types of similar data.

While students from universities not in the U.S. are welcome to apply, please be aware that priority is given to students who are enrolled at U.S. schools.  Applications received by Friday, April 1, 2016 will receive full consideration.

SAMSI will reimburse pre-approved and appropriate travel expenses as well as provide food and lodging.

Directorate liaison: Sujit Ghosh

Organizers: SAMSI first year postdocs & Sujit Ghosh

Send questions to

ASA Datafest – Loyola University Chicago

During the weekend of April 08-10, the Math/Stat Department at Loyola is organizing an ASA Datafest event to take place at the Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University Chicago.


I am writing to you so that you can help us advertise this event to the undergraduate and masters students in your Department/University. Note that this is not restricted to statistics students. I attached to this email a poster that could be used for advertising either by posting it in the boards or forwarding the email.


The ASA website for the event is here:


Our event at Loyola is funded by several companies, including Google, Open Datagroup, Gallup and Baseball Prospectus, among others. Prizes will be awarded to the best groups.

The official website for the Loyola event (including registration) is here:


Thank you for helping us spread the word.

Adriano Z. Zambom
Assistant Professor of Statistics – Loyola University Chicago

Statistics Seminar – Thursday, March 03, 2016 – Dr. Annie Qu

“Classification with unstructured predictors and an application to sentiment analysis”

Dr. Annie Qu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Date: Thursday, March 03, 2016

Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: Engineering Hall Room 106B1

Sponsor: Department of Statistics



Unstructured data refers to information that lacks certain structures and cannot be organized in a predefined fashion. Unstructured data often involves words, texts, graphs, objects or multimedia types of files that are difficult to process and analyze with traditional computational tools and statistical methods. This work explores ordinal classification for unstructured predictors with ordered class categories, where imprecise information concerning strengths of association between predictors is available for predicting class labels. However, imprecise information here is expressed in terms of a directed graph, with each node representing a predictor and a directed edge containing pairwise strengths of association between two nodes. One of the targeted applications for unstructured data arises from sentiment analysis, which identifies and extracts the relevant content or opinion of a document concerning a specific event of interest. We integrate the imprecise predictor relations into linear relational constraints over classification function coefficients, where large margin ordinal classifiers are introduced, subject to many quadratically linear constraints. The proposed classifiers are then applied in sentiment analysis using binary word predictors. Computationally, we implement ordinal support vector machines and $\psi$-learning through a scalable quadratic programming package based on sparse word representations. Theoretically, we show that utilizing relationships among unstructured predictors improves prediction accuracy of classification significantly. We illustrate an application for sentiment analysis using consumer text reviews and movie review data. Supplementary materials for this article are available online. This is joint work with Junhui Wang, Xiaotong Shen and Yiwen Sun.

The Image of Research – UR Edition 2016 is now taking submissions

Have you constructed data visualizations for your research? Have you taken photos of your original student work?


Image of Research is a multidisciplinary competition celebrating the diversity and breadth of undergraduate research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. All undergraduate students are invited to submit entries consisting of an image and brief text that articulates how the images relates to the research.


Awards: First prize: $300 Second prize: $200 Additionally, there may be up to two honorable mentions.

All submissions will be displays at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 21, 2016.

See examples of past winners and all submissions:


Submission form:


Deadline for submissions: 12pm CST Sunday, March 27, 2016


For more information, please see the Image of Research-UR website

Questions should be addressed to


The Image of Research is organized by the Scholarly Commons of the University Library and the Office of Undergraduate Research and is supported by a generous gift to the Scholarly Commons from the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.





Fifth Floor Illini Union Bookstore

807 S. Wright Street, M/C 317

Urbana, IL 61801

Office phone: (217) 300-5453 


Undergraduate Research Symposium 2016 – Deadline Next Week (Monday Feb 15, 2016)

Please distribute this to faculty mentors and undergraduates currently conducting research in your units:

The Office of Undergraduate Research is excited to announce that we are now accepting submissions for the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium. This event, which takes place during Undergraduate Research Week, brings students and faculty from all disciplines on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus together to learn more about their research and its potential to change the world.

Throughout the week of April 17 – 23, 2016, students will showcase their projects at events across campus through presentations, posters and performances. The main event is the Undergraduate Research Symposium which will take place on April 21st, 2016.

For more information on Undergraduate Research Week and the Undergraduate Research Symposium, including programs and awardees from past years, please visit our website:

Deadline for submission to the Undergraduate Research Symposium is Monday, February 15th 2016 at 11:59pm. The application can be found at:




Fifth Floor Illini Union Bookstore

807 S. Wright Street, M/C 317

Urbana, IL 61801

Office phone: (217) 300-5453 

2016 Summer Internship at UCSD/Scripps Institution of Oceanography/Marine Physical Laboratory

Greetings University of Illinois,

I would like to inform your constituents about an exciting ten-week summer internship opportunity in the Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, in La Jolla, California. I have attached a flyer for your review and copied the job listing below — please forward / use in any ways that would best get the word out.

flyer mpl summer internship 2016
Our internship program is a great opportunity for inquisitive and motivated undergraduate students with exceptional aptitude for quantitative science majoring in Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology to work with some of the most notable scientists in the world while earning a modest salary.

More information can be found on our website, where we will be accepting applications beginning December 21, 2015, through February 26, 2016. If you have any questions please contact me.

Warm regards,

Eva Friedlander | Summer Internship Coordinator | Marine Physical Laboratory | UC San Diego Scripps Institution Of Oceanography | MC 0213 |

Organization: UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Marine Physical Laboratory

Call for 2016 Summer Interns
Are you contemplating a career in scientific research and development?

The Marine Physical Laboratory, at UC San Diego’s world renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is currently seeking inquisitive, motivated undergraduate students with exceptional aptitude for quantitative science to apply for the 2016 MPL Summer Internship Program.

Undergraduate college students majoring in Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Geology are encouraged to apply. This ten-week internship will offer qualified students the opportunity to work with some of the most notable scientists in the world and learn about marine science and technology while earning a modest salary.

* Currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at a college or university with a major applicable to research done at MPL and NOT in your senior year.
* Considering a career in scientific research
* Available to start at MPL in La Jolla, CA on or after June 1, 2016, and work the duration of the internship, ten consecutive weeks from the start date, for 40 hours per week at a salary of $14/hr.
* A U.S. citizen or permanent resident and NOT a previous MPL intern
* OK with working a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and surf

The Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Originally established as a Navy-orientated research laboratory in 1946, MPL has maintained a strong multidisciplinary research program consisting entirely of sponsored projects, with a large sponsorship from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Acoustics and Infrasound

Applied Ocean Sciences

Autonomous Ocean Platforms and Global Observing Systems

Coastal Oceanography

Internal Waves and Ocean Mixing

Marine Mammal Biology

Nonlinear and Surface Waves

Ocean Acoustics

Ocean Instrumentation and Technology

Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions

Physical Oceanography

Population and Community Ecology

Upper Ocean and Submesoscale Processes



Whale Acoustics

Coastal Observatory Development

Whole Sky Imager

Observations of Waves and Currents Nearshore

Time Reversal Mirror in the Ocean

Air-Sea Interaction Research

Optical and Ancillary Measurements at High Latitudes in Support of the MODIS Ocean Validation Program

Reference Materials for Oceanic Carbon Dioxide Measurements


* Visit to complete the application online
* Applications will be accepted online from December 21,  2015, through February 26, 2016
* Decisions will be emailed to applicants by the end of April

Marine Physical Laboratory
Scripps Institution of Oceanography:
University of California, San Diego: