I am an associate professor in Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics at University of Notre Dame.
I am a statistician, and my main research field is applied statistics. I have a wide interest in statistics applied to different fields, especially where we get huge data sets that challenge traditional statistical methods and computational power. I work on the statistical modeling, inference, testing, and data mining on these data sets.
Most of my research in the recent years focuses on data generated by the next generation sequencing (especially RNA-Seq), which is an ultra-high-throughput technique that generated huge, high-dimensional, and noisy (that's correct, sequencing data are not as clean as you may think) data.
You may not be familiar with biology, but you can think of these data as a typical high-dimensional, small sample size, discrete (the data are not real numbers but non-negative integers) data with outliers, and thus they are ideal platform for you to test your ability in statistical modeling and data mining :-)
Since late last year, I have been fascinated by the analysis of a recent extension of the RNA-Seq technique called "single-cell RNA-Seq". Different from the regular RNA-Seq, single-cell RNA-Seq measures the expression profiles of hundreds to thousands of individual cells at one time. This is amazing: now you have datasets that are not only high-dimensional, discrete, and noisy (even much noisier than the regular RNA-Seq), but also of much larger sample sizes so that you may work on much more data mining problems on them! I am thrilled about this opportunity and challenge.
I am also very active in developing collaborations with people from other departments. I have quite a few collaborators from biology, biochemistry, and other departments, in Notre Dame and other institutes. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you think I may be the right person to solve your headaches.
I got my PhD from Department of Statistics, Stanford University, where my advisor was Professor Robert Tibshirani.
In my spare time, I love to go fishing. When I was a five-year-old boy, I built up my first rod, line, and hooks by myself, and got my first fish--a Crucian carp. After that, I never stopped fishing for a long time. In California, I went both freshwater and saltwater fishing. My fishing journey in Indiana has started, and here are some of my catches in my first three years in the St Joseph River: 5 lb 1 oz largemouth bass (on a Texas rig), 13 lb steelhead (on a jerkbait), 11 lb chinook salmon (on a jerkbait), and a 7 lb steelhead with 4 lb line and a 2 inch minnow (when I was targeting crappie)! My dream is to become the best angler among statisticians, and the best statistician among anglers.
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