Category Archives: Seminars

Study Abroad Info Session-Costa Rica

Dear Students,

Please drop by our Costa Rica Info Session with on-site Resident Director Henry Soto, who is visiting our campus! Learn about coursework, hear from returnees, and of course ask questions! For more information about this wonderful program, visit its online brochure page


The Study Abroad Office
Student International Academic Affairs
910 S. Fifth St., 112 ISB, MC-480
Champaign, IL  61820
Phone: (217) 333-6322

Department of Statistics weekly seminar

Yuan Ji, Ph.D. (NorthShore University HealthSystem): Bayesian Models for Next-Generation Sequencing Data on Histone Modifications
Speaker         Yuan Ji, Ph.D. (NorthShore University HealthSystem )
Date                Oct 11, 2012
Time               4:00 pm – 4:50 pm
Location         156 Henry
Sponsor         Statistics Department
Event type     Seminar
In this talk, I will describe how Bayesian models are successfully applied to the field of epigenetics, which is concerned about regulatory mechanism of gene expression. Epigenetics, one of the most heavily researched and challenging field in biology, increasingly draws attention from statisticians due to breakthroughs in bioengineer and biotechnology that allow large-scale and high-throughput experiments to be routinely conducted with affordable cost. A central topic of epigenetics is to understand the chromatin state — modifications to histones and other proteins that package the DNA. A complex mechanism called “histone code” is believed to dictate the dynamics of DNA expression. As a step towards deciphering the histone code, we develop Bayesian models based on genome-wide mapping of histone modifications. Such models are only initial attempts to decipher the complex histone code but highlight the need of Bayesian inference in the research of gene regulations, receiving relatively small amount of attention from statisticians. I will summarize our recent work and results using a comprehensive ChIP-Seq data set.

Department of Statistics Weekly Seminar

Heike Hofmann, Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
Speaker           Heike Hofmann, Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
Date                Oct 4, 2012
Time                4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location          156 Henry
Sponsor           Statistics Department
A Discussion of Graphical Inference 
How do you know if something that you see in a data plot is really there? 
Statistical inference for exploratory data analysis allows us to quantitatively assess the strength of a visual finding, and places statistical graphics in the context of classical inference. New work builds on the lineup protocol, which puts graphics into an inference framework, that examines the data plot in relation to null plots. This talk describes various aspects of the development of graphics inference: definitions of terminology and concepts, experiments conducted to validate the lineup protocol, how to compute p-values and power. Applications of visual inference in practice will be discussed. This includes how to choose the best display and also includes scenarios where no classical test exists, because critical assumptions are violated.

Secondary Education Programs informational meetings this month!

Hello colleagues,

I wanted to send you the list of dates for the October Secondary Education Programs Informational meetings.  Please disseminate to your students freely and widely!  Many of them are informational meetings for students interested in teaching as we have seen in the past.  Please note that October 3rd and 4th are the first of several informational meetings slated for this month!


I also want to draw your attention to a meeting intended for students interested in earning endorsements.  If a student wants to teach more than one subject (many of them do) at the advanced/AP level, they should come to this meeting.   Endorsements can add to a student’s credentials, making them more employable.  All prospective and current secondary and BAT students are welcome.



Introduction to the Secondary Education minor for Freshmen

Wednesday, October 3rd 4-5pm in 1065 Lincoln Hall

Monday, October 15th 6-7pm at La Casa Cultural Latina

Tuesday, October 23rd, time and location TBA



Introduction to the Secondary Education minor for Sophomores and Juniors

Thursday, October 4th 4-5pm in 1064 Lincoln Hall

Monday, October 15th 6-7pm at La Casa Cultural Latina

Wednesday, October 24th, time and location TBA



Introduction to the Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Foreign Language (BAT)

Thursday, October 11th 5-6pm in 1064 Lincoln Hall

Monday, October 15th 6-7pm at La Casa Cultural Latina



**Brand New! Endorsement Informational Meeting – for all prospective and current secondary education minors and BAT.** 

Wednesday, October 17th 7-8:30pm in Room 2 Education Building



Biology Teaching Informational Meeting

Wednesday, October 31st 4-5pm Burrill Hall



Director of Secondary Education Programs

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

120 Education Building, MC-708 | 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL

(217) 333-2800 | (217) 244-9498 fax

Department of Statistics Weekly Seminar

Sewoong Oh (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Budget-Optimal Task-Allocation for Reliable Crowdsourcing Systems
Speaker           Sewoong Oh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Date                Sep 27, 2012
Time                4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location          156 Henry
Sponsor           Statistics Department
Event type        Seminar
This talk is on my ongoing research on designing reliable and cost-efficient crowdsourcing systems. Crowdsourcing is a novel paradigm for solving large scale problems by breaking them down into small tasks that are electronically distributed to numerous on-demand human contributors. In typical crowdsourcing, these tasks are submitted to an electronic labor market and completed by any worker choosing to pick it up for a small reward. However, since typical crowdsourced tasks are tedious and the reward is small, errors are common even among those who make an effort. Thus, all taskmasters need to devise schemes to increase confidence in their answers. A common approach is to assign each task multiple times and combining the answers in some way such as majority voting. For such systems, there is a fundamental problem of interest: how can we achieve a certain reliability in our answers at minimum cost? Under a general model, we provide an optimal algorithm based on low-rank matrix approximation and belief propagation. We prove that our approach significantly outperforms majority voting and, in fact, is asymptotically order-optimal through comparison to an oracle that knows the reliability of every worker. We also provide experimental results on synthetic and real datasets that support the optimality of our approach.

MATRIX Meeting 9/18

MATRIX math club is pleased to announce that our meeting this week will be a career talk by Nick Baier — a UIUC Math grad and current AOL employee. We will be joined by the Economics Club and OTCR. Students with an interest in Computer Science are especially encouraged to attend. Pizza will be served.


What: Talk by Nick Baier, AOL
When: Tuesday 9/18, 5pm
Where: 245 Wohlers Hall (6th & Gregory)
Dress: Business Casual
The following is a description of Nick’s talk and his background:
“Quantitative Majors in the Business Sector and the Online Advertising Industry
Quantitative majors possess a unique problem solving ability that can be extremely valuable to many different employers in many different fields.  Learn how to leverage these skills and what career paths are available to math majors in business.
Learn about online advertising, an expanding and highly competitive industry that allows you to work in a challenging and enjoyable environment.  This field is great for anyone with an analytical background and a desire to pursue a business career.
University of Illinois Graduate – May 2010
B.S. in Mathematics
B.A. in Economics
President of MATRIX from 2008-10
Started at AOL as an Associate Business Analyst in October 2010
Currently Business Manager of, position held since May 2012
MBA candidate at the University of Chicago School of Business, class of 2014”
Hope to see you there! Please RSVP on Facebook if you can.


USDA Career Opportunities Informational Session (Outreach Webinars)

USDA will be conducting a series of Informational Sessions (outreach webinars) about USDA career opportunities for Students and Recent Graduates.  
Dates:(all sessions are the same)
·        September 17, 18, & 19
·        November 19, 20, & 21
·        January 21, 22, & 23
·        February 18, 19, & 20
The following topics will covered at the webinars:
·        An overview of USDA,
·        An introduction to the USDA Students and Recent Graduates Program,
·        Available opportunities, and
·        Basic qualifications and application process.
We are interested in getting registrations from the following individuals:
·        Faculty and career services staff, and
·        Recent graduates and students who are U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens.
All webinar sessions will be recorded and captioned.
NOTE: the Agencies SEPCs will be presenting at each webinar.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Wenndy Carrasco,M.P.A. |Departmental Student Employment Program Manager| U.S. Department of Agriculture| Office of the Assistant Secretary of Administration – Office of Human Resources ManagementRecruitment and Diversity Division|1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 17-W Whiten Building|Washington, DC 20250|202-260-8335 (O)|202-690-0960 (F)|
Supervisors, SEPCs, Recruiters and Current Interns and Recent Graduates:
Potential Applicants for Internships, Scholarship and Recent Graduates Opportunities:
Stay tune through USDA DM Website:
twitter.jpgfacebook.jpg            PDo you really need to print this e-mail?

Department of Statistics Weekly Seminar

Song-Xi Chen (Iowa State University): High Dimensional Empirical Likelihood for Generalized Estimating Equations with Dependent Data
Speaker           Song-Xi Chen, Iowa State University
Date                Sep 20, 2012
Time                3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location          122 Illini Hall
Sponsor           Statistics Department
Event type        Seminar
This paper studies the maximum empirical likelihood estimation (MELE) and inference on parameters identified by generalized estimating equations with weakly dependent data when the dimensions of the estimating equations and the parameters are diverging. Our theory greatly extends a wide range of existing results to the new time series framework of growing dimensions of the parameters, the estimating equations and the observed covariates. We obtain the consistency with rates and the asymptotic normality of the MELE by properly restricting the growth rates of the dimensions of the parameters and the estimating equations, as well as the degree of dependence. We also show that, even in this high dimensional nonlinear time series setting, the empirical likelihood ratio still behaves like a Chi-square random variable asymptotically. (Note that time and location are different from usual)

Prairie Lightning Mini Symposium Sep 20, 9-1 at the Illini Union

Lighting Talk Poster Presenters:
Thursday, September 20, students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to enjoy a morning of fast-paced “lightning” talks and posters by the scientists of the Prairie Research Institute. Come for the morning or drop by and learn about the research and activities of the Institute comprising the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. Find new research partners and student job opportunities. Posters, networking, and light refreshments 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lightning talks 9:30 and repeated at 11:30. Illini Union, Rooms B&C.