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Friday, June 12, 2020

No assumptions when tackling problems

Maysum Panju

While a high school student in Toronto, Maysum Panju knew that the University of Waterloo was the destination for math. While working on his undergraduate degree and Master’s in computational math, he started learning about machine learning. That led to his interests in developing algorithms and theoretical proofs and he decided to start his PhD in statistics.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Dylan Spicker, winner at the SSC 2020 Case Studies in Data Analysis Competition

Winner Dylan Spicker and teammate Melissa Van Bussel

Congratulations to Dylan Spicker (University of Waterloo) and team member Melissa Van Bussel (Carleton University) in their first place finish for their work on Case Study #2: Predicting podcast popularity in iTunes at the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) 2020 Case Studies in Data Analysis Competition. Dylan is currently a SAS PhD student studying in the field of Statistics.  

To learn more about this competition, please visit the SSC competition website.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Shixiao 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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Charmaine 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.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

New 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.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Genetics and statistics intersect for two Waterloo graduate students

Qihuang Zhang and Ce Yang

For two graduate students at Waterloo, unraveling the mysteries of the human genome requires more than just science. These two students, both given a departmental research presentation award by the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, are passionate about bringing their skills to the field of biostatistics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Here's how I cracked Roll up the Rim and won (almost) every time

Tim Hortons roll-up-the-rim cup and win tabs
A statistics professor used his expertise in calculating probabilities to come up with a 98 winning percentage for Tim Hortons popular Roll up the Rim contest.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ruodu Wang: Self-Consistency, Subjective Pricing, and a Theory of Credit Rating

Ruodu Wang

A new research paper Self-Consistency, Subjective Pricing, and a Theory of Credit Rating by Professor Ruodu Wang and his co-authors was recently featured in a Bloomberg news article: Riskier CLOs Get Big Boost From S&P in ‘New Ratings Shopping’.

In the paper, Ruodu and his co-authors propose a theory for rating financial securities, which is the first rigorous treatment of the question of what is an economically sensible way of rating financial instruments with credit risk, such as defaultable debts, Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO), and Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLO). The study reveals empirical evidences in the post-Dodd-Frank period (i.e., after July 2010) that the issuers of CDO/CLO can take advantage of the absence of an important theoretical property, called self-consistency in the paper. With several theoretical results, the co-authors demonstrate that the lack of such a property may lead to the serious issue of tranche maximization which is widely seen in today's CLO market. As credit rating and rating agencies play a crucial part for the security of the modern financial system and the economy, flawed rating mechanisms could further lead to adverse financial consequences under today's extreme financial stress.

To view the paper, please visit Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Monday, April 13, 2020

New method for evaluating large portfolios

Male on the phone in front of monitors with graphs

University of Waterloo Faculty to Mathematics researchers have developed a new method that enables large insurers to reduce the time spent estimating the financial liabilities of their portfolios from days to hours while achieving high accuracy.

A study details the new method which significantly reduces computational time, but still estimates the financial liability of variable annuity portfolios accurately for business purposes.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Congratulations to the department’s newest University Research Chair

Alexander Schied

The University has appointed Professor Alexander Schied as a University Research Chair.

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