• Yaqing Chen

Tell me about yourself
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at Rutgers University. Before joining Rutgers, I was a postdoctoral scholar working with Professor Hans-Georg Müller, who is also my Ph.D. advisor, in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). I completed my Ph.D. in Statistics in 2020. Prior to that, I received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics from Peking University in 2015.

How did you become interested in statistics?
I became interested in statistics when I did an undergraduate project with a group of peer students studying how students feel about small-size seminars at Peking University. At that time, I almost knew nothing about statistics and was very impressed when seeing how one group member used statistical analysis to let the data they collected speak.

What are you researching? (in layman’s)
My research mainly focuses on developing statistical methods for metric space valued data or non-Euclidean data. Examples of such data have been increasingly emerging in the recent decade and include income distributions, functional connectivity networks, and microbiome compositions. These data do not take values in a vector space---e.g., one distribution adds another is not a distribution anymore, neither is one distribution multiplied by 2. This eliminates the applicability of methods that have been developed for Euclidean data. New methodologies are needed to handle such non-Euclidean data.

What are you excited about in joining Rutgers University?
Yes, absolutely. The statistics department is very supportive and everybody in the department is willing to help. I really appreciate all the support I have received from my colleagues and the department as well as from the SAS.