Commencement 2024

Commencement 2024

The UC Berkeley Department of Statistics celebrated the graduates of the class of 2024 on Wednesday, May 15th, at Zellerbach Playhouse on the Berkeley campus. Department Chair Haiyan Huang led commencement activities, which featured an address by Professor Kate Crawford. After the ceremony, family and friends joined the graduates for a reception at the Alumni House. 

Prize Winners

Department Citation in the Statistics Bachelor's Program 

The Department Citation (B.A.) is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate work at the bachelor's level and exceptional performance in the program. The 2024 winner is Jonathan Lin, who will be attending Duke University's Ph.D. program in statistics. Commencement 2024

Department Citation in the Statistics Master's Program

Given the recognition of excellence in the theory and application of statistics at the master's level and outstanding performance in the master's program, The 2024 winners are Nicolás Nuñez Sahr and Aarushi Somani.

Department Citation in Probability

They were given in recognition of an outstanding Ph.D. student in probability. The 2024 winner is Adam Jaffee, whose research focuses on the manner in which mathematical statistics develops rigorous foundations for problems at the intersection of statistics and geometry.

Elizabeth Scott Memorial Award (M.A.)

Established in 1989, this award consists of a gift certificate for a scientific book and a citation. To be given as warranted, but at most annually, to the M.A. student in the Statistics Department showing the greatest promise in statistical research. The 2024 winner is Yilong Hou.Kate Crawford

Eric L. Lehman Citation

Established in 1999, this prize consists of a gift certificate for a scientific book and a citation. It is awarded for an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation in theoretical statistics (interpreted broadly). Nikhil Ghosh is the 2024 Lehman winner.

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award

The Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (OGSI) Award honors UC Berkeley GSIs each year for their outstanding work in teaching on the Berkeley campus. These OGSI recipients are nominated from within their teaching departments. The GSI Teaching & Resource Center provides the award recipients certificates of distinction and hosts a celebratory ceremony in the spring. This award is sponsored by the GSI Teaching & Resource Center. The 2024 winners are:

Matthew Dworkin

Karissa Huang

Hyunsuk Kim

Shuni Li

Licong Lin

Chengzong YeStatistics faculty

Ph.D. Class of 2024

Tae Joo Ahn

"Near-optimal multiple testing procedure in Bayesian linear models"

Advised By: Professor Song Mei

Nikhil Ghosh

"Theoretical Foundations of Deep Learning: Optimization, Generalization, and Scaling"

Advised By: Professors Bin Yu & Song Mei

Amanda Glazer

"From Bikers to Batters: Steering Statistics Through Real-World Problems"

Advised By: Professor Philip Stark

Ella Hiesmayr

"The spectral edge of sparse random graphs and mean-field interacting branching processes"

Advised By:  Professor Steven N. Evans & Shirshendu Ganguly

Adam Quinn Jaffe

"Geometry, Analysis, and Optimization in Probability Theory"

Advised By: Professor Steven N. Evans

Shuni Li

"Statistical and Computational Methods for Applications in Materials Science and Biology"

Advised By: Professor Haiyan Huang

Benjamin Yenji Lu

"Essays on Causal Inference"

Advised By:  Professors Avi Feller & Peng Ding

Facundo Sapienza

"Physics-Informed Machine Learning for the Earth Sciences: Applications to Glaciology and Paleomagnetism"

Advised By: Professors Fernando Pérez & Jonathan Taylor

Jacob Spertus

"Stratified sequential nonparametrics: inferential validity by design, any way you slice it"

Advised By: Professor Philip Stark


James Duncan

"Trustworthy Data Science: Scalable Software Frameworks and Interdisciplinary Geoscience Research"

Advised By: Professor Bin Yu

Hao Wang

"Statistical Analysis and Visualization of scRNA-Seq data at Population Scale"

Advised By:  Professor Elizabeth Purdom

Yutong Wang

"Statistical and Machine Learning Methods for Understanding Spatial Biology and Cellular Communication"

Advised By:  Professor Yun S. Song

Commencement Address - Kate Crawford 

Kate Crawford is an internationally leading scholar of artificial intelligence and its impacts. She is a research professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research in New York, and was the inaugural Visiting Chair in AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her research has appeared in venues such as Nature and Science, Technology & Human Values, and she has advised policymakers in the United Nations, the White House, and the European Parliament. Her book Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence has won multiple awards including the Sally Hacker Prize, is translated into more than ten languages, and was named one of the books of the year by both New Scientist and The Financial Times. Kate is a joint winner of the Ayrton Prize from the British Society for the History of Science.

In addition to her academic research, Kate produces art installations and visual investigations which have been shown in more than a hundred museums and biennales around the world. Her project Anatomy of an AI System with Vladan Joler is currently exhibited at the MoMA in New York (2022-2024) and is in the museum's permanent collection, as well as the permanent collections of the V&A in London, the Ars Electronica Center, and the Design Museum in London. It was also given the Design of the Year Award. Their new project, Calculating Empires: A Genealogy of Power and Technology premiered at Fondazione Prada in Milan, and was next exhibited at the KW Institute in Berlin in 2024. 

Kate leads the Knowing Machines Project, a transatlantic research collaboration of scientists, artists, and legal scholars that investigates training data. She was named on the TIME100 list in 2023 as one of the most influential people in AI.

Chair Haiyan Huang on the class of 2024

"As graduates from the Statistics Department, you are poised to be at the forefront of creating a more just and secure world. Your expertise in statistics and data science is vital across numerous fields, including technology, medicine, finances, material sciences, criminal justice, politics, and even professional athletics. Use your skills to learn from data, promote ethical data usage, and shape a better future. We are counting on you to make a significant impact and drive positive change in the world!"


Where are our grads going next 

  • Nvidia
  • Washington University
  • Comcast
  • Columbia University 
  • Duke University
  • Figma
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Boston University
  • Stanford
  • PG&E
  • Amazon
  • University of Washington
  • Yale
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Group One Trading
  • University of Chicago
  • Draft Kings