Hometown: Hangzhou, China
Prior to UW-Madison, I held a postdoc position in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and I was also affiliated with Chan-Zuckerberg (CZ Facebook) Biohub. I spent 2016-2017 in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania as a Simons Math+X postdoc. I obtained my PhD in Statistics from the University of Chicago and BS in Mathematics (summa cum laude) from Fudan University, China.
How did you get into your field of research?
I was always interested in mathematics back as a kid, and then I decided to pursue a career in statistics/data science because I wanted to study a field that is highly quantitative but has many applications to real-world problems.
What attracted you to UW-Madison?
There are three things that attract me to UW-Madison: the faculty, the students and location. UW-Madison is known for excellent research in all areas, which is a great place for the interdisciplinary researchers. The students here are active, diverse and, for most part, they are a privilege to teach. Having been in both East and West coasts, I’d say Madison is my favorite place to live so far — it is a great mid-size city to work and raise a family.
What was your first visit to campus like?
I visited the campus six years ago on St. Patrick’s Day. The temperature was low but the sun shined on the celebration parade. I was amazed by the beautiful scenes along the lakes.
What’s one thing you hope students who take a class with you will come away with?
As an instructor in statistics, I believe my mission is not only to familiarize students with statistical theory, but more importantly, to foster a habit of statistical thinking. I would like students to come with critical minds and to be self-motivated.
What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties?
Statistics are not just numbers, they are numbers with context.
Hiking, outdoor activity. So far I’ve been to over 20 national parks, and I’m hoping this list will get longer in the next year or two.