Florida State University hosts international statistics conference

| Fri, 04/19/24
Westcott building
Florida State University’s Department of Statistics, in partnership with the International Indian Statistical Association, will host more than 110 scholars at the “Theory and Foundations of Statistics in the Era of Big Data Conference" from April 19-21.

This week, statisticians from across the globe will gather at Florida State University for a conference examining major advancements and challenges in the field, including the impacts of big data and artificial intelligence on statistical research.

Florida State University’s Department of Statistics, in partnership with the International Indian Statistical Association, will host more than 110 scholars at the “Theory and Foundations of Statistics in the Era of Big Data Conference” April 19-21 in the FSU Student Union Ballrooms.

“There has been real transformative progress within the field of statistics recently, propelled by amazing growth in computational power as well as rapid advancement in procuring and curating massive data on diverse fields including public health, medicine and national and economic security,” said Debajyoti Sinha, the Ronald and Carolyn Hobbs endowed chair of statistics and one of the conference organizers. “There’s also been a remarkable amount of progress in developing the necessary analysis tools, how to apply them, and in computational aspects of statistics for such data.”

Despite the surge in availability of novel tools for the analysis of “big data,” the theoretical foundations, scientific rigor and logical justifications that underpin these tools are not yet mature. The event brings together statistics and data science innovators and senior leaders with emerging young researchers to identify, discuss and decipher solutions to these foundational issues and challenges faced by today’s statisticians.

The conference — supported by the American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the National Institute of Statistical Science and funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency — also includes a centenary celebration honoring the foundational and pioneering contributions of legendary statisticians Raghu Raj Bahadur and Debabrata Basu, who was also a long-time FSU faculty member.

Participants traveling from universities across the U.S. and from as far as Europe, Canada, India, Nepal and China will experience a program featuring three plenary talks and six invited sessions showcasing senior leaders in the field who have made foundational contributions to statistics, two special invited sessions for early-career researchers, a poster session for graduate students and junior faculty and a banquet talk by a statistical leader.

Plenary speakers include T. Tony Cai, president-elect of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Daniel H. Silberberg Professor of Statistics and vice dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School; Xiao-Li Meng, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Statistics at Harvard University, former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and founding editor-in-chief of the Harvard Data Science Review; and Merlise A. Clyde, Duke University professor of statistical science and former chair of Duke’s Department of Statistical Science. More than 50 notable statisticians will present their research, 16 of whom are from FSU.

“The main goal of the conference is to motivate the young students and researchers in the field to understand the problems in the field and be inspired to go on to contribute to future solutions,” Sinha said. “We want students, graduate students and researchers to be educated on issues and skills they need to have a real impact on their areas of interest. The FSU Department of Statistics is among the oldest statistics departments in the country. We have a history of taking a real lead within the statistics field and have made pioneering breakthroughs. We want to continue that legacy of leadership for the next generation of statisticians.”

The conference also features two invited sessions for early-career researchers who are emerging leaders in the field, including junior faculty members from top statistics and data science departments across the nation.

“The conference scientific committee aims to create a platform for up-and-coming statisticians to network and discuss research ideas with senior leaders and among themselves and to chart the future trajectory of contemporary statistical foundations together,” said associate professor of statistics Xin (Henry) Zhang, the conference’s NSF grant principal investigator and scientific committee co-chair. “The FSU Department of Statistics has hosted several NSF-funded conferences in recent years, and thanks to NSF support we are delighted to include more junior researchers and students at this unique and influential scientific event.”

Learn more about the “Theory and Foundations of Statistics in the Era of Big Data Conference,” and view the speaker lineup on the conference website. For more information about FSU’s Department of Statistics, visit stat.fsu.edu.