The statistical sciences interact with virtually every discipline in science, social science, and engineering. Research interests in the Department are similarly widespread. Consequently, the following summary covers just some of the main current themes of faculty members and their research teams (graduate student, postdocs, collaborators, etc.). For more detailed information, please see the individual home pages of faculty members.
- Many faculty members (Rollin Brant, Jenny Bryan,Paul Gustafson, John Petkau, Will Welch, Lang Wu) work on applying statistical methods to biomedical problems, ranging from analysing gene expression data to public health issues. Much of this work is done in conjunction with local hospitals (such as St Paul's) and research institutes (such as the BC Cancer Agency and the BC Genome Sciences Center). In the fall of 2009, we introduced the biostatistics option to our MSc program, an option that is joint with the School of Population and Public Health. Some more details on some of this research can be found on the page for the Biostatistical Research Group (BRG).
- Environmental statistics
- Jim Zidek has been active in this area for many years, and has consulted for the US EPA, and various Canadian agencies. Ongoing research ranges from analysis of pollution data collected over a geographical area and time to studies involving global climate models. Some of this work is summarized in his recent book Statistical Analysis of Environmental Space-Time Processes with Nhu Le (Springer, 2006). Click here for more information. John Petkau works on the public health issues related to air pollution. In 2012, we will move into a new building with the department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, which we expect will result in further collaborative work in this growing area.
- Bayesian statistics
- Many faculty members (including Paul Gustafson and Jim Zidek) are involved in the methodology and applications of Bayesian statistics. A particular theme has been efficient computation.
- Robust STATISTICS
- Ruben Zamar and Matias Salibian-Barrera focus on making statistical methods less sensitive to unusual, exteme values and to incorrect modelling assumptions.
- OTHER AREAS
Other faculty work on a diverse range of topics, besides those mentioned above. Nancy Heckman works on functional data analysis and smoothing methods. Will Welch works on the design and analysis of computer experiments, as well as data mining. Harry Joe works on multivariate non-normal statistics. Jiahua Chen works on classical statistical theory, especially asymptotic analysis and analysis of mixture models. Lang Wu works on mixed effects models and longitudinal data analysis. Paul Gustafson works on measurement error and nonidentifiable models.
Our two recent hires are Natalia Nolde and Alex Bouchard-Cote. Natalia works probabilistic and statistical aspects of multivariate extreme value theory, with applications to risk management. Alex works in statistical machine learning, specializing in high-resolution computational models for evolutionary processes, with applications in statistical Natural Language Processing and computational biology.
These are just a few highlights of the diverse research activities in the Department. For more detailed information, please see the individual home pages of faculty members.