Category Archives: Seminars

Statistics Seminar — John Lafferty at AIIS this Friday!

This week we are hosting Prof. John Lafferty ( He’ll deliver a talk at the AIIS seminar ( Please note that the talk venue has been moved from 3405 SC to 2405 SC as we are expecting a larger audience. Following are the details:

Nov 9, Friday. 4 pm.

2405, Siebel Center

Graphical Model Estimation

The graphical model has proven to be a useful abstraction in statistics and machine learning.  The starting point is the graph of a distribution.  While often the graph is assumed given, we have been studying the problem of estimating the graph from data.  In this talk we present several nonparametric and semi-parametric methods for graph estimation.  One approach is a nonparametric extension of the Gaussian graphical model that allows arbitrary graphs.  For the discrete Gaussian (Ising model), we use parallel neighborhood selection with L1-regularized logistic regression.  Alternatively, we can restrict the family of graphs to spanning forests, enabling the use of fully nonparametric density estimation in high dimensions.  When additional covariates are available, we propose a framework for graph-valued regression.  The resulting methods are easy to understand and use, theoretically well supported, and effective for modeling and exploring high dimensional data.  Joint work with Han Liu, Pradeep Ravikumar, Martin Wainwright, and Larry Wasserman.

John Lafferty is the Louis Block Professor in the Departments of Statistics, Computer Science, and the College at The University of Chicago. His research area is machine learning, with a focus on computational and statistical aspects of nonparametric methods, high-dimensional data, graphical models, and applications.  An associate editor of the Journal of Machine Learning Research, Dr. Lafferty served as program co-chair and general co-chair of the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation conferences in 2009 and 2010. Dr. Lafferty received his doctoral degree in mathematics from Princeton University, where he was a member of the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics.  Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2011, he was Professor of Computer Science, Machine Learning, and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is currently an Adjunct Professor.

Translation Study Abroad Program Info Session — Thurs., November 8th at 12:30pm

The Center for Translation Studies will be hosting an info session for the Summer 1 2013 Translation Study Abroad program on Thursday, November 8th at 12:30pm in Lucy Ellis Lounge ( 1080 Foreign Languages Building).   Below is a message from our director with details about the Translation Study Abroad program.  Please join us for lunch on Thursday, November 8th at 12:30 pm for an opportunity to meet the CTS director and faculty,   learn more about the Translation Study Abroad program and have your questions answered.     Please RSVP to Elizabeth Mosley at by Monday, November 5th so that we will know how much food to order.


Translation Study Abroad 2013 Info Session


Psychology Information Session versus Advising for Spring 2013


Please continue to advise prospective students to attend Psychology
informational sessions to learn more about the major, course work, and
opportunities.   We have many more opportunities throughout the semester to
meet the needs of the undeclared student.

If the student attends an informational meeting, they will be able to
determine the number and combination of Psychology courses to be taken.

Dept. of Statistics Weekly seminar

Lee DeVille (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Stochastic dynamics on networks. Emergence of collective behaviors
Date                Nov 1, 2012
Time               4:00 pm – 4:50 pm
Location         156 Henry
Sponsor         Statistics Department
Event type     Seminar
Dynamical systems defined on networks have applications in many fields in science and engineering. In particular, it is important to understand when networks exhibit synchronous or other types of coherent collective behaviors. Other questions include whether such coherent behavior is stable with respect to random perturbation, or what the detailed structure of this behavior is as it evolves. We will examine several models of networked dynamical systems and present a mixture of results that range from rigorous theorems for abstract models to quantitative comparisons of models and data.

Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships


Are you interested in foreign languages?  Do you enjoy learning about different cultures?



(both for Graduate & Undergraduate Students):

October 29th 4-5pm, room 126 LISB, 501 E. Daniel St.

October 30th 4-5pm, room 126 LISB, 501 E. Daniel St.

The information workshops will feature information on FLAS Fellowships with presentations by the Area and International Centers FLAS coordinators. In addition to a general overview of FLAS fellowships and particular requirements for various Area Centers, you can get tips on how to write a successful application; what supporting documents you need; and who is appropriate for a recommendation.


Fellowship Amount

  • Academic Year Fellowships
    • Graduate students may receive full tuition and fee waiver and a stipend of $15,000 payable over the academic year. Eligibility for tuition waiver varies by home department and school.
    • Undergraduates receive $10,000 for tuition and fees and a $5,000 stipend.
  • Summer Fellowships
    • $5,000 towards tuition for a summer language program as well as required Illinois fees and a $2,500 stipend. In some cases, a travel award may also be made.

FLAS Fellowships support graduate and undergraduate study in modern foreign languages in combination with area studies, international studies, or international or area aspects of professional studies. The following languages, classified by Center, are approved by the U.S. Department of Education for FLAS fellowships at Illinois.

Note: Undergraduates cannot apply to study French, German, or Spanish. Undergraduate fellowships are only available for intermediate to advanced study of less commonly taught languages, which are defined as modern languages other than Spanish, German or French.

  • Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS): Advanced Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan. *CEAPS is accepting applications only from graduate students. Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply thorough CEAPS.
  • Center for Global Studies (CGS): Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Lingala, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian or Croatian, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, or Wolof; or at the advanced level* (third-year or above) Chinese or Japanese.
  • Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS): Brazilian Portuguese, Quechua or any other Amerindian Language, or at the advanced level (third-year or above) Spanish.
  • European Union Center (EUC): Arabic, Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, French, German, Greek (modern), Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, or Turkish. *Priority will be given to less-commonly-taught languages (languages other than French, German, Spanish) and higher-level language study.
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC): Bosnian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian, Turkish, or Ukrainian.


For more information about FLAS Fellowships and eligibility requirements, please visit the FLAS Fellowships at Illinois website. 


FLAS Fellowship application deadline: 5 PM, 8 February 2013. Graduate students should check with their home departments about internal departmental deadlines

Undergraduate Research Opportunity: SPIN October 24th

NCSA, eDream, and the Illinois Informatics Institute (I3) are looking for Illinois undergraduate students who have big ideas and the creativity, skill, and drive needed to bring them to life. We’re offering up to 15 paid innovation fellowships—selected students will work with NCSA, eDream, and I3 mentors during the Spring 2013 semester.

You and your students are welcome to join us at the NCSA Building (1205 W. Clark St., Urbana) from 4 to 6 pm Oct. 24 for NCSA SPIN(Students Pushing Innovation). Meet NCSA, eDream, and I3 staff and learn more about their research and areas of expertise. Free snacks will be provided courtesy of eDream.

For more information, visit:

Translation Study Abroad Program

Dear students,

The Center for Translation Studies is pleased to announce that the Translation Study Abroad program (TRST 401-3 undergraduate credits; 4 graduate credits) will take place during Summer 1 2013 (May 13-27, 2013).  Titled “Translation in the European Union” the program will travel to Paris, Strasbourg and Brussels for behind-the-scenes introductions to the work of translation and interpreting in key EU institutions, including the EU Commission, the EU Parliament, the Directorate General of Translation, NATO and UNESCO.  Our students will be exposed to the dynamics of the geo-political environment of the European Union and will receive hands-on experiences with the translator and interpreter’s role as mediator and communicator in today’s European multi-lingual and multi-cultural societies.  The course will be of particular interest to students in foreign languages, cultures, linguistics, political science, global studies,  international studies, EU Studies, law, and business. The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students in any major.  The experience can lead to internships in the EU. A little known fact is that the EU is in desperate need of qualified translators who can work INTO English from EU languages.

Estimated program cost is $2500, exclusive of air fare and personal expenses. Financial aid is available.  Apply through the Study Abroad office for LAS Study Abroad Scholarships.  The Center for Translation Studies will offer a limited number of travel grants. For information on those grants, please contact Prof. Elizabeth Lowe (

The application deadline is March 1, 2013.

Translation Study Abroad 2013

GSLIS Lightning Talks – learn more about LIS

This is a great opportunity for undergrads to learn about the diverse, broad and exciting field of Library and Information Science from the #1 LIS program in the country.

What do the Fab Lab, an online collection of Japanese woodblock prints, and CU have in common? Your students can learn about these projects and other topics of interest to library and information science this Friday, October 19 at GSLIS in a Flash! Come join us as current GSLIS students present a series of Pecha Kucha style talks starting at 5:30 in LIS 126. For a full list of students presenting and an abstract of their talks, visit:

Department of Statistics Weekly Seminar

Wei Sun (University of North Carolina): Statistical methods for RNA-seq data
Date            Oct 18, 2012
Time            4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location     156 Henry
Sponsor      Statistics Department
Event type   Seminar
RNA-seq is replacing gene expression microarrays as the most commonly used technique to assess genome-wide transcription abundance. RNA-seq delivers two novel features. First, it provides information on allele-specific expression (ASE), which is not available from gene expression microarrays. Second, it generates unprecedentedly rich data to study RNA-isoform expression. I will present statistical methods for joint study of allele-specific expression and total expression of a gene, transcriptome reconstruction, isoform abundance estimation, and Differential isOform usage Testing (DOT).