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By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky departments of Statistics and Biostatistics have long been the campus consultants for making sense of all sorts of data.

"Quantitative data and analysis is vital to research in a data driven world, including many dissertations, but many students feel overwhelmed when they have to design their own studies or analyze real data, so they look to our department," said statistics Professor Arne Bathke of the College of Arts and Sciences. "They often know very precisely which research question they want to answer, but often they don’t know the most efficient and powerful way to collect the data, and how to make sense of it once it has been collected."

At the beginning of July, with the help



By Erin Holaday Ziegler

A visiting Fulbright Scholar will give an insider's perspective on the past, present and future of Iraq at the University of Kentucky tomorrow.

Mohammed Saeed, a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Statistics pursuing a master's in public health in UK's College of Public Health, will discuss the "Recent History of Iraq, U.S. Involvement and War and Current Issues" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the William T. Library. There will be a reception in the Keeneland Room after Saeed's talk.

Saeed was born and raised in Baghdad and arrived at UK in 2010 after receiving a Fulbright scholarship. 

The visiting scholar plans to discuss the Iraq-Iran War; the Gulf War; life under Saddam Hussein's regime; the 2003 war and its



By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences will host a trailblazing American diplomat next week to continue the college's Year of China initiative.

Former U.S. Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch will speak on “Leadership and Education in a Globalizing World: China’s Challenge” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in Room 118 of the White Hall Classroom Building on UK's campus.

Bloch’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the "Passport to China: Global Issues & Local Understanding" course taught by UK sociology Professor Keiko Tanaka.

Ambassador Bloch, the first Asian-American ambassador in American history, has had a broad career in U.S. government service. She is currently president of the U.S.-China Education Trust, a nonprofit organization working


By Erin Holaday Ziegler

A University of Kentucky statistics professor's summer teaching trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was the final component in forming an international partnership between UK and a newly merged higher education institution at the source of the Blue Nile.



College of Arts and Sciences statistics Professor Arne Bathke oversaw the signing of the partnership agreement between UK and Bahir Dar


The son of a naval architect/marine engineer, Steven C. Grambow credits his father for putting him on the path to hard sciences.
“He was my biggest influence. At a relatively young age he was the chief engineer and naval architect of a World War II Navy Shipyard in Sausalito, CA that at its peak had over 20,000 employees. He went on to have a long and successful career as an engineer and project manager in international mining and minerals. He had a brilliant mind and enjoyed studying math, physics and general science as a hobby. It definitely rubbed off on me.”
Grambow grew up in Northern California and started college at UCLA,


In an effort to streamline and centralize statistical consulting activities on campus, a new Applied Statistics Laboratory (ASL) will launch July 2011. The main objectives of this venture are to provide improved statistical services to groups preparing grant proposals, direct faculty involvement from the Departments of Statistics and Biostatistics for study design and data analysis throughout UK, foster collaborative research between scholars who develop quantitative methodology and those who use such methodology in their work, and to become a resource which may be referenced in institutional support for larger grants, in addition to direct statistical support typically included in such grants.

“We envision improved breadth and quality of statistical support for scholarship across the University,” said Arne Bathke, Founding Director of the ASL, but he also points out


UK Statistics Professor Arne Bathke was interviewed on WUKY about current research and projects coming out of the UK Statistics department. Bathke has long understood the importance of interdisciplinary work, and UK Statistics was recently ranked 16th of the nation's private and public universities.


William Rayens, UK professor of statistics in the College of Arts and Sciences, will deliver the annual Chellgren Center Lecture 1 p.m. Friday, April 8, in room 246 of the Whitehall Classroom Building. His lecture is titled "A Comparison of Concrete and Virtual Manipulatives for Learning Statisical Concepts." The lecture is free and open to the UK faculty and anyone who is interested.

This Chellgren Center Lecture series, implemented by the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, represents an opportunity for the UK community, particularly the faculty, to learn about best practices, key issues and challenges, strategies for improving instruction, and ways in which curricular innovation can enrich the


Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI) policy analysts Aron Patrick and Alan Waddell were working intensely to complete the department's first edition of the Kentucky Energy Profile in mid-2010, when they encountered a problem of powerful proportion.
Since 1990, two federal agencies, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA), have shared the responsibility of monitoring fuel shipments to electric generating facilities within the United States. 
DEDI has specific interest in these shipments, as they relate to


The P-12 Math and Science Outreach Unit of the Partnership Institute for Mathematics and Science Education Reform  (PIMSER) was recently awarded $780,000 in state grant funds. The Math and Science Partnership Award from the Kentucky Department of Education will aid in the development of a Science Leadership Support Network (SLSN) in central and eastern Kentucky.

In order to facilitate the growth of the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, PIMSER plays a vital role in public outreach programs at UK. These programs enhance learning in the STEM disciplines by working with Kentucky students as well as providing support, training, and resources for K-16 teachers.


University of Kentucky alum James Booth has found a perfect combination in statistics and genetics.

A Blackpool, England native, Booth studied at the University of Leeds before coming to the United States to study in the Bluegrass. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics and his master’s degree in statistics at Leeds before looking at Ph.D. programs.

“I decided to go

Angela Schörgendorfer

PhD Student

by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Mark Cornelison

Any person involved in academic research knows there is no way to avoid the field of statistics. Somewhere along the way you have to have a working knowledge of it. Statistics touches everything.

It was this very aspect of the field that captivated Angela Schörgendorfer, now a fourth year doctoral student in the UK Department of Statistics. “I’m a math person. I like doing math that I know will be applied to something. That was what intrigued me about statistics. You can use it for medical research, any kind of social science, and just about anything.” 

Schörgendorfer experienced the wide-ranging application of the field as a statistical consultant to the UK College of Agriculture where she worked on over 100 projects during a two-year period. The projects included


Chunxu Liu was selected as a winner of the ASA Nonparametrics Student Paper Awards Competition at the Joint Statistical Meetings 2009. This competition was organized by the Nonparametrics Section of the American Statistical Association. The award winners were chosen based on a combination of quality of the submitted paper, and quality of the presentation. Chunxu's winning paper is entitled "A Nonparametric Version of Wilks' Lambda: Asymptotics, Approximations, and Permutations". She is currently finishing up her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Arne Bathke.


Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology David Weisrock, along with collaboration from Biology post-doctoral scholar Eric O'Neill and Assistant Professor Ruriko Yoshida from the Department of Statistics have received funding from the National Science Foundation for Weisrock's grant proposal"Genome-level resolution of species boundaries and phylogeny of the North American tiger salamander radiation."


Dr. Ruriko Yoshida has received funding $1.4M in funding over five years from the National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant Program (R01), the Joint DMS/BIO/NIGMS Math/Bio Program for her research, i.e., to apply algebraic geometry and combinatorics to computational problems in phylogenetics, which is the combination of two major fields in life sciences: Genomics, i.e. the study of the function and structure of genes and genomes; and Molecular Phylogenetics, i.e., the study of the hierarchical evolutionary relationships among organisms or genes.


Dr. Bill Rayens of the Statistics department was selected as a Chellgren Endowed Professor.Chellgren Professors are UK faculty members who are outstanding teachers and researchers, each with a compelling interest in undergraduate innovation and excellence. To be named a Chellgren Endowed Professor, a faculty member must propose a specific innovative project aligned with the mission of the Chellgren Center that will be the focus of the professor's scholarly agenda during his or her tenure as a Chellgren Professor.