Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
May 8, 2019, 10:14AM

"13 Reasons Why" tells the story of a young girl who kills herself and leaves behind a series of 13 tapes detailing the reasons why she chose to end her life. "Youth may be particularly susceptible to suicide contagion, which can be fostered by stories that sensationalize or promote simplistic explanations of suicidal behavior, glorify or romanticize the decedent, present suicide as a means of accomplishing a goal or offer potential prescriptions of how-to die by suicide," said Jeff Bridge, from Ohio State University.

The authors used interrupted time series and forecasting models to analyze monthly rates of suicide between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2017 — the time period before and after the release of "13 Reasons Why." "We adjusted for potential effects of seasonality and underlying trends on suicide rates and estimated that the series' release was associated with approximately 195 additional suicide deaths in 2017 for 10- to 17-year-olds," said Joel Greenhouse, professor of statistics in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the second author on the study. "Interestingly, there was no significant association between the...

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April 30, 2019, 1:49PM

The lecture is a tribute to the late couple for their distinctive contributions to the statistical community.

Stephen E. Fienberg was the Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Science Emeritus. The author or editor of over 20 books and 500 papers and related publications, his co-authored 1975 book, Discrete Multivariate Analysis: Theory and Practice, and his 1980 book, The Analysis of Cross-Classified Categorical Data, are classics in the field.

Joyce Fienberg was a lovely and caring woman whose legendary kindnesses, including to graduate students from distant lands, made a profound and lasting impact in the lives of everyone with whom she crossed paths. On Oct. 27, 2018, while at Tree of Life Synagogue, she became one of 11 victims of a gunman during a rampage that was the single worst attack on American Jews in U.S. history.

Sir David John Spiegelhalter is a British statistician and Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

The lecture can be viewed here...

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April 25, 2019, 10:14AM

Women in Data Science (WiDS) is an international conference primarily located at Stanford
University with 100+ satellite conferences across every continent except Antarctica. In 2018, over
100,000 people attended the conference in person and via the livestream and Facebook Live.
WiDS Pittsburgh @CMU was held for the first time last year and had nearly 150 local participants
including students, faculty, companies, non-profits, and campus organizations. The purpose of
WiDS is “to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and support
women in the field”; the conference features exclusively female speakers from academia and

WiDS Pittsburgh @CMU for 2019 was expanded to a three-day event. April 4th featured a
Data Science in Finance Panel held at the CMU New York Location (live-streamed in Pittsburgh),
a networking welcome reception at The Yard in Shadyside (co-hosted by the Pittsburgh
useR Meetup and the Pittsburgh Women in Machine Learning and Data Science Meetup) was
held on April 5th, and April 6th was a full-day technical conference hosted in the...

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April 5, 2019, 2:38PM

Joel B. Greenhouse Ph.D., is professor of statistics at Carnegie Mellon University and adjunct professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, the American Association
for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

Greenhouse is a recipient of Carnegie Mellon University's Ryan Teaching Award and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences' E. Dunlap Smith Award for distinguished teaching and educational service. He was associate dean for Academic
Affairs in CMU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences (1997-2002) and vice-chair of CMU's Faculty Senate (2015-2016).

Greenhouse has served on several National Academy of Sciences' committees, including the Committee on National Statistics, the Panel on Combining Information (Gaver et al., 1992, NAS Press) and the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the
Assessment of Family Violence Interventions. He co-chaired the Panel Study on the Review of the Compliance, Safety and Accountability Program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety...

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January 16, 2019, 11:13AM

A multi-institute research team, which includes Carnegie Mellon Dept. of Statistics & Data Science faculty and graduate students, has published the largest study to date for whole-genome sequencing in autism in which they discovered tens of thousands of rare mutations in noncoding DNA sequences and assessed if these contribute to autism spectrum disorder.

Kathryn Roeder, the UPMC Professor of Statistics and Life Sciences, and Ph.D. students Kevin Lin and Lingxue Zhu, were among the researchers who used cutting-edge statistical models to analyze data from 1,902 families comprised of both biological parents, a child affected by autism and an unaffected sibling.

Entitled “Genome-wide de Novo Risk Score Implicates Promoter Variation in Autism Spectrum Disorder,” and published Dec. 14 in Science, the study is one of 13 released Dec. 14 as part of the first round of results to emerge from the National Institute of Mental Health’s PsychENCODE consortium – a nationwide research effort that seeks to decipher how noncoding DNA contributes to psychiatric diseases such as autism, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

For years, scientists have...

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September 25, 2018, 12:15PM

Theresa is a second year PhD student in the department working on characterizing the morphologies of precancerous cells using modern statistical methods like random forests. Currently, she is focusing on analyzing cells from patients with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, an inherited disease involving a mutation in a tumor suppressor gene. Recent awards include a 2018 Honorable Mention in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 1st place in the 2018 Scientific and Public Affairs Advisory Committee Statistical Significance Poster Competition at the national Joint Statistical Meetings, and Best in Show at the 2018 CMU HackAuton.

Ronald Yurko is a second year PhD student in the department working on developing methodology for behavioral data science or how people interact with and generate populations of data analysis workflows. His current work is largely centered on analyzing how students visualize and write about data using a mixture models adapted for use with text and circular data. Ron is also very active in sports analytics and has built multiple software packages (e.g. nflscrapR) used across the country that promote...

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November 9, 2017, 12:17PM

Brain-related disorders impact almost everyone, either directly or through family or friends. For many of the disorders, whether they’re psychiatric or neurological, there are basic scientific descriptions and valuable treatment options, but none has a satisfactory cure because the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood.

The federal government launched the BRAIN Initiative in 2013 to ignite the development and application of new technologies needed for major advances toward understanding the brain. Carnegie Mellon University’s Rob Kass believes brain research is in desperate need of cutting-edge statistics, which can and should supply a crucial link between new, highly complex data and the thorough scientific explanations the research aims to generate.

As the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies’ 2017 R.A Fisher Lecturer, Kass outlined his case in “The Importance of Statistics: Lessons From the Brain Sciences.”

“Most people have no idea how advanced statistical thinking can elevate research and accelerate scientific discovery,” said Kass, Rob Kassthe Maurice Falk Professor of Statistics and Computational...

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October 19, 2017, 2:57PM

Recent Dept. Ph.D. graduate Samrachana Adhikari will present “Post PH.D. Academic Life” on Oct. 30, sponsored by the Dept.’s Women in Statistics group. The talk will be held at 3:00 p.m. in the Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall A 53. Everyone is invited. Sam, a 2017 Ph.D. recipient, is a post-doctoral fellow in Statistics in the Dept. of Healthcare Policy and the Dept. of Biostatistics at Harvard Medical School.

February 23, 2016, 1:56PM

The National Science Foundation has awarded Carnegie Mellon University’s Jing Lei and Ryan Tibshirani Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards.

Lei and Tibshirani, both assistant professors in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Department of Statistics, each received five-year, $400,000 grants for their projects “Modernizing Classical Nonparametric and Multivariate Theory for Large-scale, High-dimensional Data Analysis” and “Locally Adaptive Nonparametric Estimation for the Modern Age — New Insights, Extensions, and Inference Tools,” respectively.

The CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious honor designed to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through their outstanding research and excellent teaching.
“These CAREER awards are a testament to the innovative contributions that both Ryan and Jing are making in their research,” said Christopher R. Genovese, head of the Statistics Department. “They are emerging leaders in the field, and their work is advancing our understanding of statistical inference with large, complex and high-dimensional data.


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December 7, 2015, 3:47PM

Chad Schafer has been elected co-chair of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Informatics and Statistics Science Collaboration. Starting in 2022, the LSST will digitally image the sky every night for a decade. The massive camera will gather roughly 30 terabytes - or 30,000 gigabytes - each night, creating "big data" for astronomy like never before. To help prepare for the data challenges, Schafer, associate professor of statistics in the Dietrich College, will lead the team to develop new methods to analyze and gain scientific insight from the data collected.