Researchers From Around the World to Gather at IIT for International Conference on Algebraic Statistics

Researchers from 11 countries and more than 30 universities will gather on IIT Main Campus for as2014, an international conference on algebraic statistics, May 19-22, 2014. This conference is co-sponsored by IIT College of Science, the David & Lucille Packard Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

The unifying theme of the conference is the increasingly close interaction between algebra and statistics, and the goal is to perpetuate further development in these interconnected areas of research.

Algebraic statistics exploits algebraic geometry and related fields to solve problems in statistics and its applications. Methods from algebraic statistics have been successfully applied to address many problems including construction of Markov bases for testing goodness of fit of various statistical models, theoretical study of phylogenetic mixture models, ecological inference, identifiability problems for graphical models, Bayesian integrals and singular learning theory, social networks, and coalescent theory. In addition to algebraic statistics’ successes in solving statistical problems, its research objectives have driven theoretical developments in algebra.

Sonja Petrovic

Sonja Petrovic

The as2014 conference is being organized by IIT’s Sonja Petrović, assistant professor of applied mathematics, and Despina Stasi, senior research associate in applied mathematics, along with Seth Sullivant from North Carolina State University and Ruriko Yoshida from University of Kentucky. Petrović previously co-organized the event as an assistant professor in statistics at Penn State University.

Among other things, as2014 will highlight how algebraic statistics can help people working in diverse areas. For example, data scientists who are interested in development of or research about new tools for data analysis will find speakers of interest, as will social scientists who need new tools to analyze social network and other relational data and causal inference. One keynote speaker, Peter Spirtes of Carnegie Mellon University, works on epidemiology, econometrics, sociology and political science. Other keynote speakers’ topics include Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods in statistics, computational phylogenetics, data ranking problems, reliability analysis, graphical models, random graphs and social networks. The full schedule for the conference, along with titles and abstracts for the talks and posters, is available on the conference information page.

Undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members from IIT and other area universities are encouraged to participate. To learn more about the conference, or to register, visit the website. A list of participants is available here.