Levin Lecture Series: Spring 2019 Colloquium Seminars

January 24, 2019

Topic: "Towards a Biology of Resilience and Health: A Public Health Paradigm"

Speaker: Dr. Karen Bandeen-Roche, Professor and Chair at Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University

11:45am-12:45pm​

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH

Abstract: Recent advances in low-cost metagenomic and amplicon sequencing techniques enable routine sampling of environmental and host-associated microbial communities across different habitats. The data produced by these large-scale surveys typically comprise relative abundances (or compositions) of microbial taxa at different taxonomic levels. To investigate the dependency of additional covariate measurements such as metabolites or host phenotypes on the microbial compositions we introduce a general robust regression framework for compositional data. We propose a novel log-contrast regression model with mean shift parameters that allows the identification of sample outliers and maintains sub-compositional coherence with respect to the associated phylogenetic tree. The model is estimated using a sparse penalized regression approach that simultaneously enforces sparsity in mean shift and covariate parameters. We demonstrate the superiority of our approach using a wide range of synthetic simulation scenarios and infer novel associations between body mass index measurements and human gut microbes on a large public collection of human gut microbiome data.


January 31, 2019

Topic: "Let them eat cake (first)!​"

Speaker: Dr. Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor, Department of Statistical Science, Duke University

11:45am-12:45pm​

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Christine Mauro

Abstract: Backwards design, designing educational curricula by setting goals before choosing instructional methods and forms of assessment, is a widely accepted approach to course development. In this talk we introduce a course design approach inspired by backwards design, where students are exposed to results and findings of a data analysis first and then learn about the building blocks of the methods and techniques used to arrive at these results. We present this approach in the context of an introductory data science course that focuses on exploratory data analysis, modeling, and effective communication, while requiring reproducibility and collaboration. The talk is organized in three parts (visualization, data acquisition, and modeling) and features examples of in class activities, details of the course curriculum, and sample student work.


February 7, 2019

Topic: "CANCELLED"​

Speaker: Max Kuhn, Software Engineer, Rstudio, Inc.

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Jeff Goldsmith

Abstract: "CANCELLED"​


February 14, 2019

Topic: "Disease progression model with real-world observational data"

Speaker:  Zhaonan Sun, Research Scientist, IBM Research

11:45am-12:45pm​

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Yuanjia Wang

Abstract: Chronic diseases such as COPD and Huntington's disease progress slowly over extended periods. The knowledge of how progression is affected by differing patient characteristics is crucial for informing clinical decisions. However, understanding disease progression from real-world data is challenging. Not only are observations noisy, and irregular in time, but the rate of progression may exhibit significant variation across patients. In addition, different stages of the target disease may have unbalanced coverage in the observational data.  We propose a disease progression model with covariates to tackle two difficulties when modeling disease progression with observational data. First, the proposed model explicitly accounts for patient level heterogeneity in progression by conditioning on patient characteristics. Second, the model mitigates the difficulties caused by unbalanced samples by leveraging multi-task learning structures. We demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed model by both simulation studies and an applications to real-world disease registry data.


February 21, 2019

Topic: "An Iterative Penalized Least Squares Approach to Sparse Canonical Correlation Analysis​"

Speaker:  Xin Zhang, Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, Florida State Universiy 

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Gen Li

Abstract: It is increasingly interesting to model the relationship between two sets of high-dimensional measurements with potentially high correlations. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) is a classical tool that explores the dependency of two multivariate random variables and extracts canonical pairs of highly correlated linear combinations. Driven by applications in genomics, text mining, and imaging research, among others, many recent studies generalize CCA to high-dimensional settings. However, most of them either rely on strong assumptions on covariance matrices, or do not produce nested solutions. We propose a new sparse CCA (SCCA) method that recasts high-dimensional CCA as an iterative penalized least squares problem. Thanks to the new iterative penalized least squares formulation, our method directly penalizes and estimates the sparse CCA directions with efficient algorithms. Therefore, in contrast to some existing methods, the new SCCA does not impose any sparsity assumptions on the covariance matrices. The proposed SCCA is also very flexible in the sense that it can be easily combined with properly chosen penalty functions to perform structured variable selection and incorporate prior information. Moreover, our proposal of SCCA produces nested solutions and thus provides great convenient in practice. Theoretical results show that SCCA can consistently estimate the true canonical pairs with an overwhelming probability in ultra-high dimensions. Numerical results also demonstrate the competitive performance of SCCA. 


February 28, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker:  Ruoqing Zhu, Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Illinois at Urbana

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Yifei Sun

Abstract: "TBA"​


March 6, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker:  Steve MarronAmos Hawley Distinguished Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Michigan

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Gen Li

Abstract: "TBA"


March 7, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker:  Phil BonstraAssistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Ken Cheung

Abstract: "TBA"


March 14, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker:  Deborah Mayo, Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Virginia Tech

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Prakash Gorroochurn

Abstract: "TBA"


March 28, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker: Lan Wang, Professor, School of Statistics, University of Minnesota

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Min Qian

Abstract: "TBA"


April 4, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker: Mark Fiecas, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Division of Biostatistics, University of Minnesota

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Todd Ogden

Abstract: "TBA"


April 11, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker: Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen, Luddy Family President's Distinguished Professor, The Wharton School, Statistics Department, University of Pennsylvania

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Caleb Miles

Abstract: "TBA"


April 18, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker: David Robinson, Chief Data Scientist, DataCamp

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Jeff Goldsmith

Abstract: "TBA"


April 25, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker: Jing Ning, Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Jianhua Hu

Abstract: "TBA"


May 2, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker: Elizabeth Stuart, Professor, Department of Mental Health & Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Christina Mauro

Abstract: "TBA"


May 9, 2019

Topic: "TBA"

Speaker: Stacia DeSantis, Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

11:45am-12:45pm

AR Building, 8th Floor Auditorium

Hosted by: Dr. Cody Chiuzan

Abstract: "TBA"