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Please note: The University of Waterloo is closed for all events until further notice.

Welcome to the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science

The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science is a top tier academic unit among statistical and actuarial science globally. Our students and faculty explore topics such as Actuarial Science, Biostatistics, Data Science, Quantitative Finance, Statistics, & Statistics-Computing. Our department is home to:

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full-time faculty researching diverse and exciting areas

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undergraduate students from around the world

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 graduate students in Master, Doctoral, and professional programs

Interested in graduate studies with Statistics and Actuarial Science? Meet Mingyu (Bruce) Feng, a PhD student in actuarial science. Bruce is a pioneer researcher in the field of sustainable investment and the impact of climate change. Learn more about furthering your education on the Future Graduate page on the Math site.

  1. May 20, 2020Shixiao Zhang winner of the SSC 2020 Pierre Robillard Award
    Shixiao Zhang

    Shixiao Zhang is this year’s winner of the Pierre Robillard Award of the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) which recognizes the best PhD thesis in probability or statistics defended at a Canadian university in a given year. His thesis, entitled “Multiply Robust Empirical Likelihood Inference for Missing Data and Causal Inference Problems," was written while Shixiao was a doctoral student in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Peisong Han and Dr. Changbao Wu.

  2. May 19, 2020New Springer Book by Changbao Wu and Mary Thompson
    Thompson & Wu

    Professors Changbao Wu and Mary Thompson, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo, have a new book entitled “Sampling Theory and Practice” published by Springer.

  3. May 19, 2020Charmaine Dean Named IMS Fellow
    Charmaine Dean
    Charmaine Dean, Vice-President, Research and Professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, has been named Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS).  Dr. Dean received the award for her scientifically important contributions to the analysis of count data, disease mapping, spatio-temporal data and more; for her outstanding leadership to the statistical profession, her record of mentorship and for her enormous work in keeping statistics visible at the center of science.
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  1. June 4, 2020Department Seminar by Grace Yi, Department Statistical and Actuarial Sciences, Department of Computer Science University of Western Ontario

    Can the reported COVID-19 data tell us the truth? Scrutinizing the data from the measurement error models perspective


    The mystery of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the lack of effective treatment for COVID-19 have presented a strikingly negative impact on public health. While research on COVID-19 has been ramping up rapidly, a very important yet overlooked challenge is on the quality and unique features of COVID-19 data. The manifestations of COVID-19 are not yet well understood.  The swift spread of the virus is largely attributed to its stealthy transmissions in which infected patients may be asymptomatic or exhibit only flu-like symptoms in the early stage. Due to the limited test resources and a good portion of asymptomatic infections, the confirmed cases are typically under-reported, error-contaminated, and involved with substantial noise. If the drastic effects of faulty data are not being addressed, analysis results of the COVID-19 data can be seriously biased.

    In this talk, I will discuss the issues induced from faulty COVID-19 data and how they may challenge inferential procedures. I will describe a strategy of employing measurement error models to address the error effects. Sensitivity analyses will be conducted to quantify the impact of faulty data for different scenarios.  In addition, I will present a website of COVID-19 Canada (https://covid-19-canada.uwo.ca/), developed by the team co-led by Dr. Wenqing He and myself, which provides comprehensive and real-time visualization of the Canadian COVID-19 data.

    Please note: This seminar will be given online through Webex. To join, please follow this link: Virtual seminar by Grace Yi.

  2. June 25, 2020Department seminar by Guillaume Saint-Jacques, Linkedin

    Fairness through Experimentation: Inequality in A/B testing as an approach to responsible design


    As technology continues to advance, there is increasing concern about individuals being left behind. Many businesses are striving to adopt responsible design practices and avoid any unintended consequences of their products and services, ranging from privacy vulnerabilities to algorithmic bias. We propose a novel approach to fairness and inclusiveness based on experimentation. We use experimentation because we want to assess not only the intrinsic properties of products and algorithms but also their impact on people. We do this by introducing an inequality approach to A/B testing, leveraging the Atkinson index from the economics literature. We show how to perform causal inference over this inequality measure. We also introduce the concept of site-wide inequality impact, which captures the inclusiveness impact of targeting specific subpopulations for experiments, and show how to conduct statistical inference on this impact. We provide real examples from LinkedIn, as well as an open-source, highly scalable implementation of the computation of the Atkinson index and its variance in Spark/Scala. We also provide over a year's worth of learnings -- gathered by deploying our method at scale and analyzing thousands of experiments -- on which areas and which kinds of product innovations seem to inherently foster fairness through inclusiveness.

    The details to connect to this seminar will be available in the near future. 

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Meet our people

Mary Hardy

Mary Hardy

Professor

Contact Information:
Mary Hardy

Research interests

Professor Hardy's research interests cover aspects of solvency and risk management for both life insurance and pension plans. The major recent focus has been in financial risk management, at the interface of actuarial science and financial engineering. She also works on the econometrics of risk management, especially for actuaries, for whom long-term horizons and deep out-of-the-money risks provide different challenges to the usual risks of banking.