Event Details

Location: Honolulu, HI

Please see info below for a brownbag presentation by Xiao-Li Meng, Dean at Harvard GSAS on January, 5th, 2017.

We’ll have a highly entertaining and engaging speaker: Professor Xiao-Li Meng, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, and former head of Harvard’s Dept. of Statistics. His talk, on “The Beauty & Power of Statistical Theory,” will cover key statistical issues behind the surprising level of error in predictions for the 2016 Presidential election.  More formally, he will address the question at the heart of polling and big data science: “Is an 80% non-random sample ‘better’ than a 5% random sample in measurable terms? 90%?m95%? 99%?” Prof. Meng will caution us about the danger in blindly trusting that “Big Data” must give us better answers. The lesson learned is that “what matters most is the quality, not the quantity, of the data.”  

Prof. Meng received his BS in mathematics from Fudan University in 1982 and his PhD in statistics from Harvard in 1990. He was on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1991 to 2001 before returning to Harvard as Professor of Statistics, where he was appointed department chair in 2004 and the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor in 2007. He was appointed GSAS Dean on August 15, 2012. He has received numerous awards and honors for the more than 120 publications he has authored in at least a dozen theoretical and methodological areas, as well as in areas of pedagogy and professional development.

The more adventurous in our audience might even ask him about something called “Markov chain Monte Carlo,” which I noticed on his CV.

Date: Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Time: Noon – 1:30 pm
Place: The Ohana Room at Architects Hawaii, Ltd, through the courtesy of Harvard Club member David Miller. It’s on the 29th floor of the Makai Tower of Pacific Guardian Center, 733 Bishop Street.

Cost: FREE
Lunch: Bring your own sandwich, bento, beverage, etc.
RSVP by email to arkie@arkoehl.com
Arkie Koehl
VP, Activities
Harvard Club of Hawaii

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