Statistics News and Events
Academic Year 2007-08
A Statistics Concentrator Among Three Fulbright St. Olaf fellows
By Kari VanDerVeen May 8, 2008
St. Olaf College will add to its long list of alumni working to foster a strong global community when three Oles who were recently named Fulbright fellows leave this fall to study and teach in countries around the world.
FulbrightFellows08 St. Olaf seniors (from left) Katherine Dobie, Kirsten Peterson, Lauren Kunz, Keeley MacNeill and Alexandra Sprano were recently named Fulbright fellows and alternates for 2008-09. Not pictured is Lisa Gulya. Two St. Olaf seniors and one alumna were named Fulbright fellows for 2008-09. Lauren Kunz '08, Alexandra Sprano '08 and Lisa Gulya '07 will use the prestigious scholarship to pursue opportunities ranging from performing breast cancer research in Norway to teaching English in Turkey to studying a Russian initiative to grow its population.
Hirst earns prestigious stats award
By David Gonnerman '90 April 29, 2008
St. Olaf student Brianna Hirst '08 is one of two students in the nation to receive this year's prestigious Gertrude M. Cox Award from the American Statistical Association .
Last fall St. Olaf student Brianna Hirst '08 had the unique experience of traveling to Switzerland to help present the results of a research project on foodborne disease to a World Health Organization research group. "Brianna warned me when she first took one of my classes that she likes to ask a lot of questions," says Associate Professor of Statistics Julie Legler, herself a past recipient of the award. "This trait has served her well." Last fall, for example, Hirst had the unique experience of traveling to Switzerland to help present the results of a research project on foodborne disease to a World Health Organization research group. And Hirst excels at computing, adds Legler -- "a valuable skill in the world of statistics."
MSCS welcomes a new postdoctoral fellow!
Professor Jim Scott joined the Statistics Program in the fall of 2007 as a 2-year postdoctoral fellow. Professor Scott earned a PhD in epidemiology at University of California Berkeley this past spring. His thesis research focused on the transmission of infectious diseases through social networks.
Professor Scott joins two other 2-year post-doctoral fellows, Professor Christine Kohnen '00 and Professor Kathryn Ziegler-Graham. Scott and Ziegler-Graham both taught statistics courses and participated in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research this past year.
Activities during 2007-08
This past year was a very busy one for statistics students. They worked in many different areas and presented their results at a number of different venues. Statistics concentrators also distinguished themselves outside the realm of statistics, per se.
Students present to an International Expert Panel at WHO in Geneva
In January 2007, students worked with World Health Organization researchers to estimate the global burden of foodborne disease. Three students, Laura Boehm '08, Brianna Hirst '08, and Sommer Wild '09 continued to work in this area and were eventually invited to present to an international expert panel at WHO in Geneva in November 2007.
Young alumnus wins economics award for paper
OCTOBER 30, 2007 — David Vock '07, a statistics concentrator, recently won first place in the annual writing contest sponsored by the Minnesota Economic Association for his paper, "The Effect of school Inputs on Dropout Rates in Minnesota School Districts" (download the paper here ). Among the many things discussed in his detailed analysis of dropout rates, Vock compares the consequences of earning a high school diploma and the effects it has on the economy. The award was presented to Vock during the association's conference Oct. 26 at Macalester College.
St. Olaf Prof leads a Workshop on Statistics Programs
A workshop entitled Building (UP) an Undergraduate Statistics Program was presented by Julie Legler, St. Olaf College Robin Lock, St. Lawrence University at the San Diego Convention Center, in San Diego, California Saturday, January 5th, 2008.
St. Olaf senior earns NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
APRIL 3, 2008 — St. Olaf senior men's cross country and track runner and statistics concentrator, David Swanson recently received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The $7,500 one-time grant honors student-athletes who excel academically and athletically. Swanson is one of just 29 male fall athletes in all of Division I, II and III to receive the scholarship.
St. Olaf students win CAUSE competition
Nicole Novak '08 and David Swanson '08 won an honorable mention in a competition sponsored by the Consortium to Advance Undergraduate Statistics for their
Three Statistics Projects Presented at National Conference
Three groups of statistics students attended the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Salisbury, MD in the spring of 2008. Shannon Thornblad '08, Patrick Luithy '08 and Brad Wagenaar '08 presented their CIR work on assessing the effect of alcohol on adolescent mice. Nicole Novak '08, Aurora Vincent '09, and Angela Ulrich '09 presented their work on Migrant Health Services with a comparison to Iowa camps and the US population. Abby Lane '08 and David Swanson '08 presented work on an economic analysis of how ethanol production is affecting global food shortages.
This conference brought undergraduates from all over the US to present their research in either poster or lecture form. It was an opportunity to hear distinguished lecturers and see other students' work on everything from what anthropologists can learn from the postures depicted on ancient Greek urns to new software that allows animators to create a short movie based on just a few sketches on a tablet PC.
Statistics Projects Presented at Posters on the Hill
Three Statistics Students Presented at a Systems Biology Conference in Seattle