The American Statistical Association (ASA) have named two Illinois Statistics-PhD students as recipients of ASA Student Paper Competition awards. Rong Tang and Rentian Yao are among the award winners of their respective categories based on the quality and content of their submissions.

Tang, a fifth-year PhD student, has been named as one of the three winners of the ASA Nonparametric Statistics Section for her exceptional paper titled “Minimax rate of distribution estimation in unknown submanifold under adversarial losses.

Yao, a fourth-year PhD student, has been selected as a winner of the ASA Bayesian Statistical Science (SBSS) Section paper competition for his noteworthy paper titled “Mean field Variational Inference via Wasserstein Gradient Flow.

The ASA Nonparametric Statistics paper award is bestowed upon three individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their research, exhibiting the significance of their work, quality of exposition, and quality of execution. The award is determined by an Awards Committee appointed by the Section on Nonparametric Statistics.

Similarly, the SBSS paper award is granted based on the criteria of novelty in theory, methods, and applications, significance and potential impact of the research, as well as the clarity of writing and presentation. The award is determined by SBSS officers.

Tang and Yao are invited to present their award-winning papers at the 2023 Joint Statistical Meeting in Toronto, Canada in August. These papers are the result of their collaborative work with Professor Yun Yang, who serves as their advisor.