Chair's Letter

Dear Friends of UW Statistics,

Welcome to 2024!  I hope you enjoyed a holiday season filled with joy and laughter.  As we start the new year, I continue to be proud of serving as the Department Chair and remain deeply appreciative of the support of our faculty, staff and students.

Summer and Autumn quarters have been full of activities.  I am very happy to have had the opportunity to see many of you at our annual alumni reception at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Toronto on August 7.  I had a blast catching up with friends, both old and new.  On October 20 we also resumed our tradition of holding a joint dinner with the Biostatistics Department.  And we held this year’s Blackwell Seminar on October 27.  The seminar featured Maria Cuellar, Professor of Criminology & Statistics and Data Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  The title of her talk was "Statistics and the law: Causal inference, forensic analysis, and systemic bias in the criminal justice system".  A recording of this fascinating talk is available here.

As you know, every Autumn the department celebrates our talented Ph.D. students with the Z.W. Birnbaum and Dorothy M. Gilford awards.  These awards are a recognition that the biggest strength of our department is our graduate students.  This year, Seth Temple and Nick Irons received the Z.W. Birnbaum award, while Harshil Desai received the Dorothy M. Gilford award.  Many congratulations to the winners!  You can read more about the awards and the awardees here.

I am also very happy to report that Prof. Yen-Chi Chen and Prof. Tyler McCormick were promoted to Associate Professor and Full Professor, respectively.  Their promotions were effective last September 16, 2023.  Both are extremely well deserved!

On a sad note, it is with deep regret that I bring the news that UW Statistics alumnus Ruben H. Zamar passed away on June 28, 2023. Ruben graduated from our Ph.D. program in 1985 under the supervision of emeritus professor Doug Martin and went on to a productive career at the University of British Columbia.  He was best known for his contributions to min-max bias robust estimation. The Statistical Society of Canada and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics recently published heartfelt eulogies for Ruben, which you can read here (SSC) and here (IMS).

We are looking forward to the rest of the 2023-2024 academic year.  We are currently in the middle of multiple faculty searches that will bring new colleagues to our department.  The department is also undergoing a review of the Ph.D. program requirements.  We are aiming to engage with a variety of stakeholders, including alumni, so many of you will likely hear from the review committee soon if you have not already.  The Conference Celebration for the 25th Anniversary of the Center for Statistics in the Social Sciences is coming up on May 16 and 17.  And we are preparing for our very first direct-to-major undergraduate admission cycle, which will bring talented UW frosh in the 2028 Class straight into the Statistics B.S.

Wishing you all the success in 2024!

Abel Rodriguez
Professor and Chair

Dear Friends of UW Statistics,  I reach out to you as we celebrate the end of another academic year and the start of a beautiful summer in Seattle. 2022-2023 was another academic year full of successes and I continue to be proud of serving as the Chair of a department with such fantastic faculty, students and staff.  
Dear Friends of UW Statistics, Welcome to 2023!  I hope that you enjoyed the (icy!) holidays with your family and friends!  I am writing once more to let you know about what has been going on in our department.
Dear Friends of UW Statistics,
Dear Friends of UW Statistics, Welcome to 2022!  I wish that you are all safe and healthy!
Dear Friends of UW Statistics,
Dear Friends of Statistics, As the new Department Chair and a new member of the UW family, I am delighted to share with you an update on our accomplishments over the last few months, as well as my outlook for the year ahead.