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The Hotelling Lectures are an annual event in the Department of Statistics & Operations Research at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  They are presented to honor the memory of Professor Harold Hotelling, our first chairman. This year we are excited to have Professor Bin Yu from the  University of California at Berkeley deliver our two Hotelling lectures.  Both events are open to the public.


Veridical Data Science

Monday, March 30th, 2020

3:30-4:30pm 120 Hanes Hall

Reception following the lecture 4:30-5:30pm in the 3rd Floor lounge of Hanes Hall


Iterative Random Forests (iRF) with applications to genomics and precision medicine

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

3:30-4:30pm 120 Hanes Hall

Reception prior to the lecture 3:00-3:30pm in the 3rd Floor lounge of Hanes Hall



Bin Yu is Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor and Class of 1936 Second Chair in the Departments of Statistics and Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley and a former chair of Statistics at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on practice, algorithm, and theory of statistical machine learning and causal inference. Her group is engaged in interdisciplinary research with scientists from genomics, neuroscience, and precision medicine. In order to augment empirical evidence for decision-making, they are investigating methods/algorithms (and associated statistical inference problems) such as dictionary learning, non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), EM and deep learning (CNNs and LSTMs), and heterogeneous effect estimation in randomized experiments (X-learner). Their recent algorithms include staNMF for unsupervised learning, iterative Random Forests (iRF) and signed iRF (s-iRF) for discovering predictive and stable high-order interactions in supervised learning, contextual decomposition (CD) and aggregated contextual decomposition (ACD) for phrase or patch importance extraction from an LSTM or a CNN. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2006, and the Tukey Memorial Lecturer of the Bernoulli Society in 2012. She was President of IMS (Institute of Mathematical Statistics) in 2013-2014 and the Rietz Lecturer of IMS in 2016. She received the E. L. Scott Award from COPSS (Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies) in 2018. Moreover, Yu was a founding co-director of the Microsoft Research Asia (MSR) Lab at Peking University and is a member of the scientific advisory board at the UK Alan Turing Institute for data science and AI.



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