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Yiqun Chen earns research paper award

Yiqun Chen
Yiqun Chen

Yiqun Chen, a biostatistics PhD candidate at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has been awarded a 2022 Student Research Award by the New England Statistical Society (NESS) for his paper, “Selective Inference for K-means clustering.”

Researchers often cluster their observations to make sense of data and then test for a difference in means between identified clusters.

As an example, the field of genomics implements this in virtually all of the most popular analysis pipelines for analyzing genomic datasets.

However, existing tools lead to an inflated Type I error rate, which can result in false discoveries downstream (i.e., results indicate a finding that doesn’t actually exist).

Chen’s paper takes a selective inference approach and proposes an elegant solution to overcome this problem that accounts for the fact that the hypotheses are generated on the same data used for testing.

His method leads to more accurate conclusions than classical tests on hand-written digits data and single-cell RNA-sequencing data.

Chen, who was recently named the 2022 Outstanding Teaching Assistant by UW SPH, was acknowledged at the NESS symposium and received a plaque in honor of his accomplishments.

Yiqun Chen receives award certificate from SPH Dean Hillary Godwin
Chen pictured with Dean of the School of Public Health, Hilary Godwin in May 2022 when he was received the School's 2022 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award