Congratulations to Simran Padam for being awarded a Shardashish Interschool Fellowship!
A graduate student in the MA in Statistics program at Columbia University, Simran Padam graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India with a degree in Economics. She worked as a Quantitative Specialist analyzing risk for 5 years in the Retail Banking & FinTech sector. 
“My prior work experience piqued my interest in the varied and interesting applications of machine learning. At Columbia, where intellectual traditions are renowned worldwide, I wish to upskill myself in the ever-growing field of Machine Learning and Financial Technology. “
As Louis Pasteur, chemist and microbiologist, said: “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” Yes indeed, Simran. We are thrilled you chose us and we join you in celebrating this wonderful milestone.

The DataFest Fall 2019 findings were presented on the topic of religiosity by six teams. Each team developed robust models and analyzed the dataset. The DataFest was judged by professors from the Statistics Department: Professors Liu, Vatter and Lee.

First Place was awarded to 4 Students, one of which is an MA Stastistics student, Ali Turfah. Other students included: Chao Tang, Aastha Joshi, Mengni Zhu


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.”

Alice Mi, Weibo Zhang, and Nicholas Shengjun Wang were three graduates of the MA Statistics program that participated in a stat-a-thon model building competition. They presented their work at the New England Statistical Symposium on a customer retention model from property insurance policy data from an insurance company and came in 2nd place. Alice stated, “Columbia University is a great community to meet collaborative intellectual minds.”

Starting 2019, we recognize MA students with distinguished academic performance in a Chair’s List of Academic Achievement.  Full-time students who are highly recommended by their professors and/or earn a 4.0 GPA in approved electives during their first fall and spring semesters, and part-time students who earn the same during their first two fall and spring semesters, will be recognized.