David Sprott Distinguished Lecture by Xiao-Li Meng, Harvard UniversityExport this event to calendar

Thursday, October 17, 2019 — 4:00 PM EDT

Building Deep Statistical Thinking for Data Science 2020: Privacy Protected Census, Gerrymandering, and Election


The year 2020 will be a busy one for statisticians and more generally data scientists.  The US Census Bureau has announced that the data from the 2020 Census will be released under differential privacy (DP) protection, which in layperson’s terms means adding some noises to the data.  While few would argue against protecting data privacy, many researchers, especially from the social sciences, are concerned whether the right trade-offs between data privacy and data utility are being made. The DP protection also has direct impact on redistricting, an issue that is already complicated enough with accurate counts, due to the need of guarding against excessive gerrymandering.  The central statistical problem there is a rather unique one:  how to determine whether a realization is an outlier with respect to a null distribution, when that null distribution itself cannot be fully determined?  The 2020 US election will be another highly watched event, with many groups already busy making predictions. Will the lessons from predicting the 2016 US election be learned, or the failure be repeated?  This talk invites the audience on a journey of deep statistical thinking prompted by these questions, regardless whether they have any interest in the US Census or politics.


Xiao-Li Meng

Xiao-Li MengXiao-Li Meng, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Statistics, and the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Data Science Review, is well known for his depth and breadth in research, his innovation and passion in pedagogy, his vision and effectiveness in administration, as well as for his engaging and entertaining style as a speaker and writer.

Meng was named the best statistician under the age of 40 by COPSS (Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies) in 2001, and he is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his more than 150 publications in at least a dozen theoretical and methodological areas, as well as in areas of pedagogy and professional development. He has delivered more than 400 research presentations and public speeches on these topics, and he is the author of “The XL-Files," a thought-provoking and entertaining column in the IMS (Institute of Mathematical Statistics) Bulletin.

His interests range from the theoretical foundations of statistical inferences to statistical methods and computation to applications in natural, social, and medical sciences and engineering. Meng received his BS in mathematics from Fudan University in 1982 and his PhD in statistics from Harvard in 1990. He was on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1991 to 2001 before returning to Harvard, where he served as the Chair of the Department of Statistics (2004-2012) and the Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (2012-2017).


David A. Sprott (1930-2013)

Professor David Sprott was the first Chair (1967-1975) of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo and first Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics (1967-1972). The David Sprott Distinguished Lecture Series was created in recognition of his tremendous leadership at a formative time of our department, as well as his highly influential research in statistical science.

Location 
STC - Science Teaching Complex
Room: 0050
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

S M T W T F S
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
  1. 2019 (62)
    1. November (7)
    2. October (8)
    3. September (4)
    4. August (2)
    5. July (2)
    6. June (2)
    7. May (7)
    8. April (7)
    9. March (6)
    10. February (4)
    11. January (13)
  2. 2018 (44)
    1. November (6)
    2. October (6)
    3. September (4)
    4. August (3)
    5. July (2)
    6. June (1)
    7. May (4)
    8. April (2)
    9. March (4)
    10. February (2)
    11. January (10)
  3. 2017 (55)
  4. 2016 (44)
  5. 2015 (38)
  6. 2014 (44)
  7. 2013 (46)
  8. 2012 (44)