Dr. Wenyaw Chan, a professor in the Department of Biostatistics at UTHealth School of Public Health and a UT Distinguished Teaching Professor, has been selected as a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA).
[Photo: Dr. Wenyaw Chan]
The ASA is an international organization of statisticians, the ‘Big Tent for Statistics,” according to their website. The organization’s members work to advance research and promote “sound statistical practice” while informing public policy and improving the well-being of people. Every year, only up to one-third of one percent of the membership can be elected to receive the distinct honor as fellows in recognizing their outstanding professional contributions to and leadership in statistical science.
“Dr. Chan is a gifted and devoted teacher,” says Dr. J. Jack Lee, chair of the ASA Committee on Fellows. “Over the past 27 years, he has trained and mentored numerous MS and PhD students at UTHealth. His exemplary teaching has helped in disseminating the statistical knowledge at UTHealth and beyond. In addition, Dr. Chan is an astute statistical collaborator in medical research. He has made seminal contributions in applying stochastic models and modern statistical methods to longitudinal studies in public health and medicine including the Alzheimer’s disease research. I appreciate Dr. Barry Davis [professor and interim chair of the Department Biostatistics, also an ASA fellow] in nominating Dr. Chan for this well-deserved honor.”
Chan will be amongst the honorees at an ASA reception and awards ceremony in Chicago on August 2.
“I was very excited when I received the news about my selection as an ASA fellow,” says Dr. Chan. “I immediately forwarded the email to my wife and my children. I idolized ASA fellows when I was a student and I had never dreamed that I could one day receive this honor.”
Dr. Chan earned a PhD in statistics and an MS in mathematics from the Ohio State University; an MS in statistics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; and a BS mathematics from National Central University in Taiwan.
Dr. Chan says after earning his PhD in theoretical statistics and teaching for several years in a mathematics department, he “sought a career with more practical applications.”
“Although a statistician can work in most scientific fields, public health is certainly a field that attracts me because it’s centered around the health of people and their communities,” says Dr. Chan. “As a biostatistician, I always have tons of practical questions to be solved and to stimulate my own research ideas in methodology. Problem solving is not only challenging but also enjoyable. When you present your statistical approach to solve the collaborator’s scientific question, you always feel that you have helped advance important scientific research in public health.”