Yuki Kitayama, Keane Nguyen-Ba and Xinyue Li, MA students, received a departmental Travel Award to attend the JSM Conference in Denver this summer. Here is what they had to say about the conference…

Yuki Kitayama

“JSM was a great experience from an academic and career perspective. I was able to take a one day course on Bayesian Time Series Analysis and Forecasting. I attended interesting presentations on topics including NLP and real estate value forecasting. In terms of career advancement, I talked to many employers and shared my resume. I actually had three FT interviews onsite with banking and asset management companies. I was also able to expand my network through mixer events with other MA and PhD students at Columbia, as well as other universities.” 


Keane Nguyen-Ba 

“It was an honor to receive the MA Statistics program’s support to attend JSM 2019. From start to end, the event was a rewarding experience as I had the opportunities to learn from the some of the brightest minds in both academia and industry. As the theme of JSM was about making an impact, I got to see how immensely applicable machine learning, and statistics in general, has been to a wide range of fields, from healthcare to sport to the game industry. One of my favorite sessions was where top-notched researchers from Harvard, Stanford and Google Brain discussed a widely popular Applied Causality paper by our very own professor David Blei and one of his PhD Students. There was also a series of enlightening lectures by Stanford professor Trevor Hastie, whose statistical learning books have become every Statistics students’ Bible! I came back inspired and motivated, I am already looking forward to returning next year, and hopefully with a chance to present my own poster.”  

Xinyue Li

“The six days experience at JSM was beyond my expectation. Over a hundred of programs and sessions were delivered every day covering very detailed knowledge and topics of statistics. I was very excited to find studies of applying Machine Learning in marketing, game industry and music classification. I also attended presentations of recent advances in statistical methods and deep learning algorithms. This has definitely broadened my knowledge in carrying out statistical analysis and knowing more about advanced methods that I’ve never heard before. It was also a great opportunity for networking. Finally, IBM built an app for JSM so that I could obtain contact information of all attendees and speakers. I’d love to connect with some of them in the future.”