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Department of Statistics


Colloquia

The colloquia listed here are presented by visiting academic researchers, members of the business community, as well by USC faculty and graduate students. The research topics introduced by the speakers delve into all areas of statistics.

Faculty, students, and off-campus visitors are invited to attend any of our colloquia.

2018 – 2019 Department of Statistics Colloquium Speakers

AUG 30 — Jun-Ying Tzeng
Identifying Individual Risk Rare Variants Using Protein Structure-Guided Local Tests

When: Thursday, August 30, 2018—2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Where: LeConte 210

Speaker: Jun-Ying Tzeng, North Carolina State University

Abstract: Rare variants are of increasing interest to genetic association studies because of their etiological contributions to human complex diseases. Due to the rarity of the mutant events, rare variants are routinely analyzed on an aggregate level. While aggregation analyses improve the detection of global-level signal, they are not able to pinpoint causal variants within a variant set. To perform inference on a localized level, additional information, e.g. biological annotation, is often needed to boost the information content of a rare variant. Following the observation that important variants are likely to cluster together on functional domains, we propose a protein structure guided local test (POINT) to provide variant-specific association information using structure-guided aggregation of signal. Constructed under a kernel machine framework, POINT performs local association testing by borrowing information from neighboring variants in the three-dimensional protein space in a data-adaptive fashion. Besides merely providing a list of promising variants, POINT assigns each variant a p-value to permit variant ranking and prioritization. We assess the selection performance of POINT using simulations and illustrate how it can be used to prioritize individual rare variants in PCSK9 associated with low-density lipoprotein in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) clinical trial data. [PDF]

SEP 13 — Frank Konietschke
Rank-Based Procedures in Factorial Designs: Hypotheses about Nonparametric Treatment Effects

When: Thursday, September 13, 2018—2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Where: LeConte 210

Speaker: Frank Konietschke, University of Texas at Dallas

Abstract: Existing tests for factorial designs in the nonparametric case are based on hypotheses formulated in terms of distribution functions. Typical null hypotheses, however, are formulated in terms of some parameters or effect measures, particularly in heteroscedastic settings. In this talk we extend this idea to nonparametric models by introducing a novel nonparametric ANOVA-type-statistic based on ranks which is suitable for testing hypotheses formulated in meaningful nonparametric treatment effects in general factorial designs. This is achieved by a careful in-depth study of the common distribution of rank-based estimators for the treatment effects. Since the statistic is asymptotically not a pivotal quantity we propose different approximation techniques, discuss their theoretic properties and compare them in extensive simulations together with two additional Wald-type tests. An extension of the presented idea to general repeated measures designs is briefly outlined. The proposed rank-based procedures maintain the pre-assigned type-I error rate quite accurately, also in unbalanced and heteroscedastic models. A real data example illustrates the application of the proposed methods.

SEP 27 — Tim Hanson
To be determined

When: Thursday, September 27, 2018—2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Where: LeConte 210

Speaker: Tim Hanson, Medtronic

Abstract: To be determined

OCT 11 — Aboozar Hadavand
To be determined

When: Thursday, October 11, 2018 —2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Where: LeConte 210

Speaker: Aboozar Hadavand, Johns Hopkins University

Abstract: To be determined

NOV 1 — Dulal Bhaumik
To be determined

When: Thursday, November 1, 2018—2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Where: LeConte 210

Speaker: Dulal Bhaumik, University of Chicago

Abstract: To be determined

NOV 15 — Yuan Wang
To be determined

When: Thursday, November 15, 2018—2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Where: LeConte 210

Speaker: Yuan Wang, University of South Carolina

Abstract: To be determined

DEC 6 — Aiyi Liu
To be determined

When: Thursday, December 6, 2018—2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Where: LeConte 210

Speaker: Aiyi Liu, National Institutes of Health

Abstract: To be determined