Welcome from the Chair of Statistics

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Statistics. The digital revolution is having a profound impact on the collection of data in scientific research and knowledge discovery. Technological advances make it possible to collect, store, process, and analyze “big data”, data of a massive scale. Big data are now common in fields ranging from engineering to quantum information and from finance to geosciences and biomedical sciences. They pose a number of statistical and computational challenges that require new ideas beyond the more traditional statistical tools. At the same time, they present unprecedented opportunities to the field of statistics. For big data, practical methods with good statistical properties and fast computational algorithms, while challenging to find, are becoming more important than ever to many frontier scientific studies such as climate modeling, portfolio allocation and risk management, quantum computation, gene expression study, and image understanding.

Since being founded by George Box, our Department has been a leader in research and student training for over fifty-five years. We have 23 faculty members of diverse research interests, with over 100 graduate students, and more than 150 undergraduate majors. In addition, we have 45 undergraduate students in our Visiting International Student Program and 25 graduate students in our professional MS on Data Science program. The department held two big data conferences: “Conference on Nonparametric Statistics for Big Data” 
in 2014 and “NSF Conference on Statistics for Complex Systems” in 2015. The programs and conferences were directed towards the interface between statistical inference and computing in the age of big data. UW Madison is a great University with academic strengths in many areas. Madison, located in the lake region of southern Wisconsin, is a medium sized city with the state capitol and a major university. Madison always ranks high as one of the most livable cities in the U.S.

Yazhen Wang
Department Chair