The Statistics Department welcomes two new Stein Fellows for the start of the 2017-18 academic year: Yumeng Zhang and Xiang Zhu.
Yumeng Zhang arrives at Sequoia Hall from the Statistics Department of UC Berkeley, where her adviser was Allan Sly; she received a BS in Mathematics from Peking University in 2011. While at Berkeley, she taught undergraduate core courses as well as classes for her fellow PhD candidates. Yumeng's research is in probability theory with an emphasis on its intersection with statistical physics and theoretical computer science. During her graduate studies, a main focus has been on constraints satisfaction problems (CSPs) and their algorithmic applications, but other interests include problems in broadcasting models on trees, Markov chain mixing times, and stochastic block models. In 2016, Yumeng was part of the "Counting Complexity and Phase Transitions" program with the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing.
Xiang Zhu was advised by Matthew Stephens of the Departments of Statistics and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. Interested in high-dimensional, large-scale problems at the interface of statistics and genetics, he plans to develop new statistical methods and computational tools to understand the role of genetic variation in complex human traits based on publicly available datasets, such as summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Xiang’s work on enrichment analysis of GWAS summary statistics recently won an ASA student paper award, and he presented his winning paper at the 2017 Joint Statistical Meetings in Baltimore. Xiang has been working with faculty members in the Stanford Genetics Department and looks forward to many collaborative relationships with our biomedical community.