ASA Student Chapter at UC San Diego

Information regarding UCSD's First ASA Student Chapter


The ASA Student Chapter welcomes local SDSU faculty speaker

For the Spring quarter of 2019, the ASA student chapter invited Professor Barbara Bailey to give a research talk. Dr. Barbara Bailey is an Associate Professor in the Statistics Division at San Diego State University (SDSU) and serves as the statistics undergraduate advisor. She presented a talk on characterizing and clustering an adult cystic fibrosis patient population using longitudinal measurements of lung functioning. Prior to the talk, Dr. Bailey talked to chapter members about her experiences working with computational tools before the 21st century as well as gave an overview of the statistics programs at SDSU.

Dr. Barbara Bailey

Dr. Barbara Bailey (center) with members of the ASA Student Chapter and UCSD biostatistics faculty.

The ASA Student Chapter gave an overview of biostatistics to high school students

On April 27, 2019, the High School Honors Statistics Contest was held on the UCSD campus. Dr. Ery Arias-Castro welcomed the co-presidents of the ASA Student Chapter, Anya Umlauf and Brian Kwan, to introduce biostatistics to the contest’s participants. Anya and Brian described biostatistics from a career standpoint and its pivotal role in advancing health-related research at UCSD. 


ASA- High school

Anya Umlauf and Brian Kwan give an overview of biostatistics to participants of the High School Honors Statistics Contest

The ASA Student Chapter celebrates Lunar New Year

In February 2019, the ASA Student Chapter celebrated Lunar New Year. Current members, prospective members, and invited guests from as far as Oxford, England, gathered together to enjoy delicious Asian cuisine. Students took a break from studying for the midterm exams to catch up with friends and share personal stories and news.

ASA Lunar New Year 2019

ASA Student Chapter of UCSD welcomes its members and guests to celebrate Lunar New Year.

The ASA Student Chapter welcomes its first invited speaker

Professor Jessica Utts became the first speaker invited by the ASA Student Chapter to give a talk on the topic of her choice. Dr. Utts is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Statistics at UC Irvine and was the 2016 President of the ASA. She presented a fascinating talk on studies of psychic abilities and the effect investigators’ personal beliefs may have on conclusions about the possible existence of psychic phenomena. The talk generated a lively discussion on the topic of psychic abilities as well as the appropriate scientific methods used to study such phenomena and importance of accurate interpretation of the results. The talk was followed by Q&A session, in which Dr. Utts answered questions from ASA student chapter members on various topics related to her current and past experiences as a practicing statistician and as a Professor of Statistics.

Utts Talk

Dr. Jessica Utts gives a talk on studies of psychic abilities.

Utts and Students ASA

Dr. Jessica Utts with ASA Student Chapter’s members (from left) Brian Kwan, Anya Umlauf, and Anubhav Singh Sachan.

Two distinguished statisticians share their experiences with the ASA Student Chapter members

In the Fall quarter of 2018, members of the ASA student chapter had the opportunity to socialize with two esteemed statisticians prior to their talks for the Division of Biostatistics. On November 7th, the chapter members joined the biostatistics faculty for lunch with Dr. Tim Hesterberg, a Senior Statistician at Google. And on December 5th, the students met with Dr. Adrian E. Raftery, a Professor of Statistics and Sociology at the University of Washington. Both guests generously took questions from the students, sharing their wisdom and personal experience on topics ranging from effectively choosing a dissertation topic and successfully maintaining work-life balance. Students received valuable professional advice on developing skills and strategies for seeking and obtaining internships and future employment opportunities.


Dr. Adrian E. Raftery (center) with members of the ASA Student Chapter.

The ASA Student Chapter welcomes its first members

In September 2018, the ASA Student Chapter welcomed its first members. The chapter was greeted by Professor Natarajan, the Director of the UCSD Graduate Program in Biostatistics, and the chapter’s inaugural co-president Brian Kwan, a third year PhD student. In his address to the members, Brian outlined the vision for the chapter’s future and its role in student life, and described planned events for the upcoming year. Afterwards, the students had a mixer to get to know one another better.

ASA Welcome Party 2018

Brian Kwan opens the first meeting of the ASA Student Chapter of UCSD.