Dear Friends of UW Statistics,

I am writing as my first year as Department Chair comes to a close.  Interacting with our community through a computer in my home office is not how I envisioned spending this time when I first accepted the position, but I am very grateful to all members of the department for their patience and support under these unique circumstances.  I continue to be impressed by the dedication of our students, faculty and staff to our shared educational, research and service missions.  

A lot has been happening at UWStats since I last wrote to you.  On June 11th we celebrated the accomplishments of 33 B.S., 23 M.S. and 8 Ph.D. students in our online graduation ceremony.  Similarly to last year, this ceremony consisted of a pre-recorded video featuring  speeches from three distinguished alumni: Danni Lin (B.S., 2011), Gregg Ridgeway (Ph.D., 1999), and Jeff Eaton (M.S., 2008), as well as personal reflections from three graduating students: Yinxi Pan (graduating from our B.S. program), Eden Xu (graduating from our M.S. program), and Johnny Paige (graduating from our Ph.D. program).  I would like to encourage you to watch the video, which you can access from the department’s website until September 1st.

I am also very proud to report that the department will be welcoming 50 new B.S., 38 new M.S. and 13 new Ph.D. students in Autumn 2021.  These are the largest classes in our programs in the last few years, and we look forward to having them join our community.

The department remains committed to its goal of creating a strong, diverse and inclusive community.  We have been saddened and horrified by recent acts of racially-driven violence, particularly against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities.  Our solidarity statement includes a number of resources that you might find helpful, especially if you live in the Seattle area.

As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, this coming year we will be undertaking a review of our B.S. program.  This review has multiple goals:  (1) increasing the size and diversity of the program, (2) improving student success, (3) providing additional opportunities for professional development to students, and (4) aligning our undergraduate program more closely with 2015 ASA Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs.  We are very interested in involving a variety of stakeholders in the process, and especially our alumni.  If you are interested in knowing more, please reach out directly to me at

As you might be aware, we will continue to operate remotely during the summer and do not expect to be back in Padelford Hall until mid-September.  After more than a year in this remote mode, transitioning to in-person operations will involve its own set of challenges, which we are ready to tackle.  I really look forward to September, when we should again be able to interact on campus.

To conclude, I would like to wish you all a great summer. I look forward to a new Academic Year!

 Abel Rodriguez

Abel Rodriguez

Department Chair of Statistics