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Texas Conference Honors Shili Lin

1 June 2023 No Comment
Swati Biswas
    Six people pose and smile. Left to right, there is are four Asian women, a white woman, and a south Asian man.

    From left: Lakshika Ruberu, Tingfang Wang, Swati Biswas, Shili Lin, Elizabeth Thompson, and Ibrahim Sajal make up four generations of an academic family.

    The department of mathematical sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas hosted a conference, “Advances in Statistical and Computational Methods for Analysis of Biomedical, Genetic, and Omics Data,” March 17–19 in honor of The Ohio State University statistics professor Shili Lin for her research, teaching, and mentoring.

    Lin is a highly regarded researcher who has received many honors for her scientific contributions. She is a fellow of the ASA and American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. She has graduated 21 doctoral students and trained 15 postdoctoral students. In addition to being a prolific researcher, she has served the scientific community by helping to pave the path for junior and future scientists/statisticians—especially for women as a president of the Caucus for Women in Statistics.

    The conference featured a variety of talks and poster presentations. Plenary talks included the following:

    • Elizabeth Thompson, University of Washington, “As Data Density Increases: From Pedigrees to Populations to Pedigrees”
    • Hongyu Zhao, Yale University, “Bayesian Nonparametric Methods for Prediction of Complex Traits Using Summary Statistics Across Populations”
    • Denise Scholtens, Northwestern University, “Network Models for Multi-Omics Data”

    There were 28 invited talks by speakers from academia, industry, and government covering a wide range of topics. The slides for most talks are available on the conference website. Students, postdocs, and junior researchers presented 42 posters, which were split into two sessions on two days to allow for one-to-one interactions between the poster presenters and their audience.

    This conference brought together a diverse group of close to 120 participants from academia, industry, and government. Participants included many of Lin’s students, postdocs, collaborators, and professional friends. Fifty-five doctoral students, postdocs, and junior researchers won travel awards to participate in the conference.

    In addition to the scientific aspects of the conference, there were ample opportunities for networking and social interactions during breakfasts, lunches, and coffee breaks each day, as well as during the reception and banquet. The banquet also featured speeches by Lin, Thompson (Lin’s PhD adviser), and Swati Biswas (Lin’s former PhD student). The master of ceremonies was Charalampos Papachristou (Lin’s former PhD student), and a surprise dessert—a peach bun representing longevity in Chinese culture—made an appearance.

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