New Statistics Professor Has Big Plans for Big Data

menyu-xu_-statisticsThe University of Central Florida’s Department of Statistics welcomed Mengyu Xu, Ph.D., to its faculty as an assistant professor of statistics.

Mengyu Xu started at UCF in the fall of 2016 and has been aiding the department with the development of its big data program and collaborating with researchers from applied scientific fields to improve UCF’s impact.

“The UCF Department of Statistics has a focus on big data, which is a cutting-edge field in modern problems and fits my research interest very well,” Xu explained. “UCF exhibits an inspiring trend in education and research.”

On top of its trailblazing research and programs, Xu added the university’s Central Florida location and climate was another attraction to her move.

“I love the lively academic environment in UCF,” she said. “I also enjoy the warm winter a lot!”

Xu received her bachelor’s degree in statistics from Renmin University of China in Beijing in 2010. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Statistics at the University of Chicago in 2012 and 2016.

Her research interests include covariance matrix estimation, time-varying network recovery from high-dimensional time series, distribution theory of quadratic forms, and high-dimensional hypotheses test.

Xu discovered her passion for statistics in her financial courses in college.

“I found that randomness plays an essential part in risk management,” she explained “That observation led me to study the statistical analysis of time series and high-dimensional data. The more I devoted to the study, the more fun and challenging I found it. Statistical tools and theories are important in estimating and predicting the behavior of the complex real-world systems in many, if not all, aspects of our lives.”

Xu looks forward to continuing the development of UCF’s big data program. In her spare time Xu enjoys cooking, watching movies and reading.

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