Congratulations Biostat 2018 graduates

June 11, 2018

A day for celebrating

On June 10, we gathered to celebrate the hard work and achievements of our students graduating in 2018.  Students were joined by their families, friends, advisors, classmates and program faculty and staff.  The day began with the UW School of Public Health Commencement, and was followed later in the afternoon with a department celebration and reception.  Congratulations to all of our graduates!


Students pictured from left to right: Jonathan Fintzi, Katherine Wilson, Anna Plantinga, Wei Ling Katherine Tan, Asad Haris, Brayan Valdes Ortiz, Yichen Zhang, Tyler Bonnett

Photo highlights

Student excellence recognized

At the department ceremony, Anna Plantinga was announced as the 2018 recipient of the Thomas R. Fleming Excellence in Biostatistics Award.  This newly named award was previously known as the Senior Student Award for a PhD student.  Tyler Bonnett was announced as the 2018 recipient of the Senior Student Award in the MS program.  This award is considered the department's highest honor and recognizes a student in each program who best demonstrates high achievement in coursework and exam performance, quality of thesis and publications, written and oral communication, and leadership. Congratulations to Anna and Tyler!

Katherine Wilson and Tyler Bonnett were also recognized for receiving the 2018 UW School of Public Health Outstanding Student Award in Biostatistics, awards  announced publicly on May 11.  The SPH Award recognizes exemplary students for their dedication, service and many contributions to the School.

2018 Biostatistics student award winners

  • Anna Plantinga, 2018 Thomas R. Fleming Excellence in Biostatistics
  • Tyler Bonnett, 2018 Senior Student Award, MS program
  • Katherine Wilson,  2018 SPH Outstanding PhD Student Award
  • Tyler Bonnett, 2018 SPH Outstanding MS Student Award

UW Biostatistics Graduates for 2018

Master of Science

Tyler Bonnett

  • Advisor: Kenneth Rice, Ph.D.
  • Thesis: “A decision theoretic approach to statistical testing: Connections between frequentist and Bayesian measures of evidence.”
  • Recipient of the 2018 Biostatistics Senior Student Award and the 2018 SPH Outstanding MS Student Award
  • Future Plans:  Interested in pursuing employment in government or private sector research settings.

Xiaoyue Wang

  • Advisor: Ying Qing Chen, Ph.D.
  • Thesis: “Investigation of early antiretroviral therapy between immediate arm and delayed arm based on CD4 counts and viral load.”
  • Future Plans:  To be determined

Yalan Xing

  • Advisor: Sarah Holte, Ph.D.
  • Thesis: “Biased-corrected least square (BCLS) method for estimating parameters in nonlinear ordinary differential equations models with mixed-effect.”
  • Future Plans: Employed as a data scientist in web security at Microsoft.

Yichen Zhang

  • Advisor: Noah Simon, Ph.D.
  • Thesis: “Square-root matrix completion and cell deconvolution with NanoString data.”
  • Future Plans: Will pursue a Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of British Columbia beginning September 2018.

Doctor of Philosophy

Jonathan Fintzi

  • Advisors: Vladmir Minin, Ph.D. and Jonathan Wakefield, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation: “Bayesian modeling of partially observed epidemic count data.”
  • Future Plans: Will pursue research opportunities in government.

Asad Haris

  • Advisor: Ali Shojaie, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation: "Towards more flexible models in high dimensions."
  • Future Plans: Accepted a postdoc position with Professor Robert Platt at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

Brayan Valdes Ortiz

  • Advisor: Noah Simon, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation: "A finite approximation framework for infinite dimensional functional problems."
  • Future Plans: Employed as a research scientist at Amazon starting this summer,  and will continue collaboration with the Sonora Cancer Research Center as a consultant.

Anna Plantinga

  • Advisor: Michael Wu, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation: "Statistical methods for the analysis of microbiome data."
  • Recipient of the 2018 Thomas R. Fleming Excellence in Biostatistics Award
  • Future Plans: Employed as an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Williams College starting this summer.

Wei Ling Katherine Tan

  • Advisor: Patrick Heagerty, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation:  “Sampling designs for resource efficient collection of labeled data for machine-learning, with applications to electronic medical records.”
  • Future Plans:  Employed as a quantitative scientist at Flatiron Health starting after graduation.

Katherine Wilson

  • Advisor: Jonathan Wakefield, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation:  “Combining survey and census data in time and space in a developing world context.”
  • Recipient of the 2018 SPH Outstanding PhD Student Award
  • Future Plans: To be determined

YingYing Zhuang

  • Advisor: Peter Gilbert, Ph.D. and Ying Huang, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation: “Evaluation of treatment effect modification by biomarkers measured pre- and post-randomization in the presence of non-monotone missingness.”
  • Future Plans:  Employed as a machine learning scientist at Amazon.

Yunqi Bu

  • Advisor: Johannes Lederer, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation: “Brain connectivity networks in theory and practice.”
  • Future Plans: Interested in pursuing employment in a research role in industry.

Yuqi Ren

  • Advisor: Jim Hughes, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation:  “A simulation study of statistical approaches to data analysis in the stepped wedge design.”
  • Future Plans: To be determined

Chaoyu Yu

  • Advsiors: Mathias Drton, Ph.D. and Peter Hoff, Ph.D.
  • Dissertation:  “Adaptive statistical inferences procedures.”
  • Future Plans:   Employed as a data scientist at Google.
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