2014 Alumni Profile: Ming-Jung (Jason) Kao

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Before coming to UGA, I earned a Bachelor's degree in mathematics, and a Master’s degree in Statistics from National Central University in Taiwan. Under the direction of Professor Shui-Ing Liu, I have completed an M.S. thesis, titled “Bayesian Analysis for Multiple Changes of the Long Memory Parameter,” on studying long-memory time series with multiple unknown change points via a Bayesian approach. I also worked in a contract research organization (CRO) on design and analysis of clinical trials. I have always been and continue to be enthusiastic about studying statistics and applying what I have learned to real-world experience.

At UGA, there is a wide variety of scholarly activity, offering much opportunity for young scholars and students to learn and grow. I was lucky to study in the statistics department.

During my time there, I completed many different research projects, was involved in consulting, and gained teaching experience. I also joined the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data analysis study group led by Professor Nicole Lazar to study research ideas on this new emerging line of statistical research with other students and faculty members from statistics, mathematics, and psychology. This research line turned out to be an important integral part of my dissertation research, which is on design of experiments for fMRI studies. With very helpful guidance from my major advisors, Professors John Stufken and Abhyuday Mandal, my dissertation research has since won me the James L. Carmon Scholarship from the Office of the Vice President for Research at UGA, and a student paper award from the Statistical Computing Section and the Statistical Graphics Section of the American Statistical

My training and experience at UGA have been very important resources for me to face new challenges.

Currently, I am working with the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Arizona State University. As an assistant professor in statistics, I continue to enjoy teaching practical statistical knowledge and skills, and conducting research to make important contributions to the society. My recently funded NSF CAREER grant provides a wonderful jump start for me to continue to expand my research, and incorporate my research results into education to inspire younger minds. These are two integral parts of my career goal.