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Veera Baladandayuthapani

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Dr. Veera Baladandayuthapani is currently a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at University of Michigan (UM), where he is also the Associate Director of the Center for Cancer Biostatistics. He joined UM in Fall 2018 after spending 13 years in the Department of Biostatistics at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, where was a Professor and Institute Faculty Scholar and held adjunct appointments at Rice University, Texas A&M University and UT School of Public Health. His research interests are mainly in high-dimensional data modeling and Bayesian inference. This includes functional data analyses, Bayesian graphical models, Bayesian semi-/non-parametric models and Bayesian machine learning. These methods are motivated by large and complex datasets (a.k.a. Big Data) such as high-throughput genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics and proteomics as well as high-resolution neuro- and cancer- imaging. His work has been published in top statistical/biostatistical/bioinformatics and biomedical/oncology journals. He has also co-authored a book on Bayesian analysis of gene expression data. He currently holds multiple PI-level grants from NIH and NSF to develop innovative and advanced biostatistical and bioinformatics methods for big datasets in oncology. He has also served as the Director of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Cores for the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in Multiple Myeloma and Lung Cancer and Biostatistics&Bioinformatics platform leader for the Myeloma and Melanoma Moonshot Programs at MD Anderson. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for Journal of American Statistical Association, Biometrics and Sankhya.

 

An example of horizontal (across cancers) and vertical (across multiple molecular platforms) data integration. Image from Ha et al (Nature Scientific Reports, 2018; https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-32682-x)

Xun Huan

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Prof. Huan’s research broadly revolves around uncertainty quantification, data-driven modeling, and numerical optimization. He focuses on methods to bridge together models and data: e.g., optimal experimental design, Bayesian statistical inference, uncertainty propagation in high-dimensional settings, and algorithms that are robust to model misspecification. He seeks to develop efficient numerical methods that integrate computationally-intensive models with big data, and combine uncertainty quantification with machine learning to enable robust and reliable prediction, design, and decision-making.

Optimal experimental design seeks to identify experiments that produce the most valuable data. For example, when designing a combustion experiment to learn chemical kinetic parameters, design condition A maximizes the expected information gain. When Bayesian inference is performed on data from this experiment, we indeed obtain “tighter” posteriors (with less uncertainty) compared to those obtained from suboptimal design conditions B and C.

Xiang Zhou

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My research is focused on developing efficient and effective statistical and computational methods for genetic and genomic studies. These studies often involve large-scale and high-dimensional data; examples include genome-wide association studies, epigenome-wide association studies, and various functional genomic sequencing studies such as bulk and single cell RNAseq, bisulfite sequencing, ChIPseq, ATACseq etc. Our method development is often application oriented and specifically targeted for practical applications of these large-scale genetic and genomic studies, thus is not restricted in a particular methodology area. Our previous and current methods include, but are not limited to, Bayesian methods, mixed effects models, factor analysis models, sparse regression models, deep learning algorithms, clustering algorithms, integrative methods, spatial statistics, and efficient computational algorithms. By developing novel analytic methods, I seek to extract important information from these data and to advance our understanding of the genetic basis of phenotypic variation for various human diseases and disease related quantitative traits.

A statistical method recently developed in our group aims to identify tissues that are relevant to diseases or disease related complex traits, through integrating tissue specific omics studies (e.g. ROADMAP project) with genome-wide association studies (GWASs). Heatmap displays the rank of 105 tissues (y-axis) in terms of their relevance for each of the 43 GWAS traits (x-axis) evaluated by our method. Traits are organized by hierarchical clustering. Tissues are organized into ten tissue groups.

Raed Al Kontar

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My research broadly focuses on developing data analytics and decision-making methodologies specifically tailored for Internet of Things (IoT) enabled smart and connected products/systems. I envision that most (if not all) engineering systems will eventually become connected systems in the future. Therefore, my key focus is on developing next-generation data analytics, machine learning, individualized informatics and graphical and network modeling tools to truly realize the competitive advantages that are promised by smart and connected products/systems.

 

Jason Corso

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The Corso group’s main research thrust is high-level computer vision and its relationship to human language, robotics and data science. They primarily focus on problems in video understanding such as video segmentation, activity recognition, and video-to-text; methodology, models leveraging cross-model cues to learn structured embeddings from large-scale data sources as well as graphical models emphasizing structured prediction over large-scale data sources are their emphasis. From biomedicine to recreational video, imaging data is ubiquitous. Yet, imaging scientists and intelligence analysts are without an adequate language and set of tools to fully tap the information-rich image and video. His group works to provide such a language.  His long-term goal is a comprehensive and robust methodology of automatically mining, quantifying, and generalizing information in large sets of projective and volumetric images and video to facilitate intelligent computational and robotic agents that can natural interact with humans and within the natural world.

Relating visual content to natural language requires models at multiple scales and emphases; here we model low-level visual content, high-level ontological information, and these two are glued together with an adaptive graphical structure at the mid-level.

Relating visual content to natural language requires models at multiple scales and emphases; here we model low-level visual content, high-level ontological information, and these two are glued together with an adaptive graphical structure at the mid-level.

Elizaveta Levina

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Elizaveta (Liza) Levina and her group work on various questions arising in the statistical analysis of large and complex data, especially networks and graphs. Our current focus is on developing rigorous and computationally efficient statistical inference on realistic models for networks. Current directions include community detection problems in networks (overlapping communities, networks with additional information about the nodes and edges, estimating the number of communities), link prediction (networks with missing or noisy links, networks evolving over time), prediction with data connected by a network (e.g., the role of friendship networks in the spread of risky behaviors among teenagers), and statistical analysis of samples of networks with applications to brain imaging, especially fMRI data from studies of mental health).

Laura Balzano

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Professor Balzano and her students investigate problems in statistical signal processing and optimization, particularly dealing with large and messy data. Her applications typically have missing, corrupted, and uncalibrated data as well as heterogeneous data in terms of sensors, sensor quality, and scale in both time and space. Her theoretical interests involve classes of non-convex problems that include Principal Components Analysis (or the Singular Value Decomposition) and many interesting variants such as PCA with sparse or structured principal components, orthogonality and non-negativity constraints, nonlinear variants such as low-dimensional algebraic variety models, and even categorical data or human preference data. She concentrates on fast gradient methods and related optimization methods that are scalable to real-time operation and massive data. Her work provides algorithmic and statistical guarantees for these algorithms on the aforementioned non-convex problems, and she focuses carefully on assumptions that are realistic for the relevant applications. She has worked in the areas of online algorithms, real-time computer vision, compressed sensing and matrix completion, network inference, and sensor networks.

Real-time dynamic background tracking and foreground separation. At time t = 101, the virtual camera slightly pans to right 20 pixels. We show how GRASTA quickly adapts to the new subspace by t = 125. The first row is the original video frame; the middle row is the tracked background; the bottom row is the separated foreground.

Real-time dynamic background tracking and foreground separation. At time t = 101, the virtual camera slightly pans to right 20 pixels. We show how GRASTA quickly adapts to the new subspace by t = 125. The first row is the original video frame; the middle row is the tracked background; the bottom row is the separated foreground.

Martin J. Strauss

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Martin J. Strauss, PhD, is Professor of Mathematics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering, in the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Prof. Strauss’ interests include randomized approximation algorithms for massive data sets, including, specifically, sublinear-time algorithms for sparse recovery in the Fourier and other domains.  Other interests include data privacy, including privacy of energy usage data.

Long Nguyen

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I am broadly interested in statistical inference, which is informally defined as the process of turning data into prediction and understanding. I like to work with richly structured data, such as those extracted from texts, images and other spatiotemporal signals. In recent years I have gravitated toward a field in statistics known as Bayesian nonparametrics, which provides a fertile and powerful mathematical framework for the development of many computational and statistical modeling ideas. My motivation for all this came originally from an early interest in machine learning, which continues to be a major source of research interest. A primary focus of my group’s research in machine learning to develop more effective inference algorithms using stochastic, variational and geometric viewpoints.