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. Feb. 6, 2023Professor Stefan Steiner recipient of the 2023 ASQ Shewhart Medal
    Stefan Steiner

    The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science congratulates professor Stefan Steiner as being named the winner of the 2023 ASQ Shewhart Medal. This achievement is awarded for the "outstanding technical contributions and leadership in the field of modern quality control and improvement, especially through the development of theory, principles, techniques, and successful applications in the area of quality." (ASQ)

    The citation reads: "For his outstanding leadership in the field of industrial statistics; for his innovation and technical contributions in measurement system analysis, process monitoring, statistical engineering, and variation reduction; and for his dedicated promotion of quality improvement in business, industry, and healthcare."

    The medal will be presented in Philadelphia at 2023 ASQ's World Conference on Quality and Improvement

  2. Jan. 26, 2023Scotiabank Data Science Discovery Days encourages real-life problem-solving
    Event group photo

    More than a hundred students spent the weekend working in teams learning to detect fraud as part of the inaugural Scotiabank Data Science Discovery Days competition.

    The event, which took place virtually and in Mathematics 3 from January 20th to January 22nd, invited teams of students from across campus to analyze large amounts of data in a project that mimics the real world work they would do in data science careers.

    “Scotiabank and the University of Waterloo share a passion for innovation,” says Yannick Lallement, Scotiabank’s Vice President for Corporate Functions Analytics and AI/ML Solutions. “We are pleased to partner with UW on programs that encourage students to engage with applied data and analytics. The enthusiasm, creativity, and technical skills that UW brought to this challenge impressed me a great deal.”

    Read the full story on the Math Faculty website.

  3. Jan. 19, 2023In Memoriam: Ken Seng Tan
    Dr. Ken Seng Tan

    We are very greatly saddened to announce that our beloved friend and colleague, Professor Ken Seng Tan, passed away on January 1, 2023. 

    Ken Seng Tan completed his BMath, MMath, and PhD in Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo. His 1998 doctoral thesis won an award for Oustanding Achievement in Graduate Studies. It also marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship and collaboration with his supervisor, Phelim Boyle. 

    Ken Seng joined the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science as faculty in 1998. He held a Canada Research Chair in Quantitative Risk Management from 2005 to 2010, and a University Research Chair from 2010 to 2015. From 2006 to 2015 he was Associate Director of the Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance and its successor, WatRISQ. Ken Seng also held a longterm visiting position at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, where he was active in supporting Chinese actuarial education and research. 

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  1. Mar. 20, 2023Seminar by Alison Burnham

    Please Note: This seminar will be given in person.

    CANSSI event presented by the Statistics and Biostatistics seminar series 

    Alison Burnham
    Chief Digitization Officer, RepairSmith Inc.
    Member, Statistics Chair’s Council, Department of Statistics, UCLA

    Room: M3 3127

    Using Data Science to Optimize Business – Opportunities & Challenges

  2. Aug. 18 to 23, 2024Monte Carlo & Quasi-Monte Carlo Methods in Scientific Computing
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    Organizing Committee:

    Email sasevent@uwaterloo.ca for any general event inquiries.

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Meet our people

Mu Zhu

Mu Zhu

Professor / Director – Data Science Program, Graduate

Contact Information:
Mu Zhu

Mu Zhu personal website

Research interests

Mu's initial research interest was dimension reduction. In the early years of his faculty career, he devoted much attention to efficient kernel machines for rare target detection and ensemble methods for variable selection. He also worked on algorithms for making personalized recommendations, and applications of machine learning to healthcare informatics.

While ensemble learning continued to captivate his curiosity, in more recent years Mu explored a hodgepodge of different topics—such as evaluation metrics, protein structures, transactional networks, and genetic epistasis. At present, he is studying various problems about dependence modeling, large covariance matrices, and generative neural networks.