Category Archives: Seminars

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.

Roundtable discussion on Racism and Antisemitism

A Roundtable Discussion of Racism, Antisemitism….
On Campus and Beyond

Thursday March 31 1092 Lincoln Hall, 5-6:30pm

The Program in Jewish Culture & Society organized this event on the heels of recent racist and antisemitic acts on campus. What proactive steps can we take to foster an environment locally and nationally that discourages such acts and encourages diversity?
Each discussant will speak for 5 minutes so there will be ample time for open conversation Professor Virginia Dominguez, Anthropology, co-moderator.

  • Brett Ashley Kaplan, Director, Program in Jewish Culture & Society, Introduction
  • Erik McDuffie, Professor of African American Studies and History, “The Future in the Present: Transforming the Racial Climate at UIUC.”
  • Stephen Kaufman, Emeritus Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, “Roadblocks to Diversity”
  • Scott Gendell, Jewish National Fund National Vice-President, supporter of the Program in Jewish Culture & Society, “The
    Convergence of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel Rhetoric on Campus, and Their Goal of Delegitimizing the Jewish State”
  • Sayed Kashua, Visiting Professor in Jewish Studies, “Cinderella”
  • Rabbi Alan Cook, Sinai Temple, “Do We Not All Have One Father? Has Not One God Created Us?”
  • Philip Phillips, Professor of Physics, “From Campus to the Nation: Racist Ideology”
  • Erez Cohen, Director, Hillel, “From Safe Space to Safe Campus”
  • Ruby Mendenhall, Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work, “The
    Hard Work of Building a Diverse and Inclusive University Community”

Deadline extended! Undergraduate International Area Studies Workshop

Undergraduate International Area Studies Research Workshop

  • Do you have a research paper on an international, global, or regionally focused topic you’d like to develop further?
  • Or are you planning or working on a thesis on a topic involving a foreign country or region?


APPLY today to join the Undergraduate International Area Studies Workshop, May 16-20, 2016


What you’ll get:

  • Close mentoring by an Illinois faculty member and librarians.
  • An insider’s view of scholarly publishing.
  • An introduction to interdisciplinary area studies research, which means,

o   Access to new sources and data from other disciplines to address your research problem,

o   A broader and more diverse perspective on your research,

o   The chance to advance your project and make it appeal to a wider audience,

o   Enhanced research skills and experience with vernacular language sources.

  • The opportunity to produce a better writing sample for grad school or a thesis that stands out from the crowd.


To apply, send the following information and materials to


  • A completed copy of the application cover sheet.
  • Proposal. A description (200-400 words) of the project you will work on at the workshop: title, topic, discipline (history, sociology, literary studies, etc.), methodology if relevant, course original paper was written for and instructor (if you are revising a course paper), major and advisor for thesis (if the project is a thesis project), and an indication of the current state of the project and any ideas for its further development.
  • One letter of recommendation from a professor or instructor (sent directly by the instructor).
  • An unofficial copy of your UIUC transcript.


Deadline extended to: 5 pm CT, Monday, April 4, 2016.


For more information, please see the workshop page.


Co-Sponsored by the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, Center for Global Studies, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

iCU OIIR Intercultural Dialogue Series_ Illinois Abroad: Students’ Experience in Latin America

iCU OIIR Intercultural Dialogue Series – Illinois Abroad: Students’ Experience in Latin America

Wednesday, March 09, 2016, 6:30-7:30pm
AACC Lounge, 1210 W. Nevada St., Urbana


Wondering what it is like to study abroad in Latin America?  Want to know more about the college student experience in Latin America?  Come hear from both domestic and international students about classroom culture, extracurricular activities, daily life, and more!  Students will present their experiences in a poster fair style format.  Mingle, learn, and indulge in food commonly eaten in Latin America!


Event Sponsored by OIIR, La Casa Cultural Latina, AACC,  and Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange


G.R.I.T. – An Extended Orientation for Transfer Students

Hello LAS Transfer Students,

The Office of New Student Programs is hosting a University-wide transfer student event called G.R.I.T.  The purpose of this event is to provide an opportunity where you can network with other transfer students on campus.  Please attend this incredible event as it is a great opportunity specifically for transfer students!




You are invited to G.R.I.T.! Save the date and mark your calendars.

What is G.R.I.T.?

G.R.I.T. stands for Guiding Resilient Illinois Transfer Students. It is a one-day interactive program, in which you have the opportunity to learn more about yourself, the U of I, and meet and socialize with new transfer students.

There are a variety of programs and activities that will help make your transition and time here at U of I all the more worthwhile. This includes Career Center services, career fair prep, team building, StrengthsQuest, and much more. Lunch will be provided.

Why G.R.I.T.?

There is a long-list of reasons to attend, so we’ll provide you with a just few of those:

  • Network with other transfer students
  • Discover your strengths
  • Develop close friendships with other transfer students
  • Learn more about career prep and career fair advice
  • Have fun

When is G.R.I.T.?

March 6th from 10 AM – 4 PM

Where is G.R.I.T.?

Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Multipurpose Room 6

Sign up here:

We can’t wait to see you all there!

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.

Upcoming pre-law programs

Pre-Law Advising Services is pleased to offer the following upcoming programs. Please share with all interested students. As always, our events can be found on our online calendar.


Case Western Reserve Presents: Law’s Violence: Justifying and Unjustifying Domestic and International Uses of Force. Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 5:00 in Lincoln Hall 1065. Interested in international law? Join us as Professor Avidan Cover gives this talk concerning the need to limit government abuse of power—as applied to both the domestic (police) realm and in the international realm (military and covert operations). Following the talk, questions about applying to and attending law school will be answered. Pizza will be provided!


Negotiating Law School Scholarships. Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5:00 in 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building. Negotiating law school scholarships has become quite common in the last few years. While many students have successfully bargained for additional scholarship dollars, the process of negotiating can be risky and stressful. Join us as two Deans of Admission—Dean Rebecca Ray from the University of Illinois College of Law and Dean Ann Perry from University of Chicago Law School–share their insight into negotiating financial aid packages with law schools. Under what circumstances should students negotiate? How can they successfully engage with law schools? Why might a law school deny a request to renegotiate? This is indispensable advice, including tips for success that could save pre-law students thousands of dollars on a legal education. All pre-law students should attend. No registration necessary.


Practice Law School Admission Test. Friday, March 4, 9:00 am-12:30 pm. We are pleased to offer the opportunity to take a practice full length Law School Admission Test (LSAT) under actual testing conditions to help pre-law students prepare for test day. This LSAT will be proctored and given under test day conditions. It’s a great opportunity for students who are prepping for the June exam to test under realistic conditions, and for students who have not yet begun prepping for future LSATs to get a baseline score for future reference. Please register here. Seating is limited and test information, including location, will be sent to each registrant. Special thanks to the Law School Admission Council for granting a license to utilize LSAT exam materials.


Thank you for sharing this information with any interested students.


Best wishes,
Jamie Thomas-Ward, J.D., M.S.
Director of Pre-Law Services

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Campus Center for Advising & Academic Services
807 S Wright St, Floor 5
Champaign IL  61820
(217) 333-9669

In Focus Group – spring 2016

Attached is the flyer for this semester’s In Focus Group, the Counseling Center’s ADHD Coaching Group. Please feel free to distribute and refer students who may benefit. Students do not need an ADHD diagnosis and are asked to contact me to register. Space is limited to 10 students.

IN FOCUS is a six-week group that offers education and peer support for students who experience difficulties commonly associated with ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD). Group meetings will be interactive and help students develop valuable skills for succeeding in school, career, and daily life.

in focus flyer spring 2016