Statistics Annual Winter Workshop 2023

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Statistics Annual Winter Workshop 2023

January 13 @ 8:00 am - January 14 @ 5:00 pm

The University of Florida Department of Statistic’s Annual Winter Workshop will take place on January 13-14, 2023 (Friday-Saturday). The workshop will be Hybrid with both in-person attendance in the J. Wayne Reitz Union and virtual via Zoom. To register, go to:

TITLE: Modern Computational Statistics


Contemporary problems in statistics and data science almost always involve solving an optimization or computation problem.  Therefore, effective computational algorithms are of crucial importance in both practical and theoretical world.  This workshop brings together experts who have done pathbreaking work in modern computational statistics.  The objectives of the workshop include discussing recent developments in nonconvex optimization, distributed optimization, MCMC, variational methods and more; identifying important problems and new research directions, stimulating interest and fostering collaborations among young researchers.

Invited Guest Speakers

Ten national researchers on AI will report on their latest research.  

Yuejie Chi, Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, (virtual speaker), “Offline Reinforcement Learning: Towards Optimal Sample Complexity and Distributional Robustness”
Matt Hoffman, Research Scientist, Google,(virtual speaker), “Running Many-Chain MCMC on Cheap GPUs”
Yufeng Liu, University of North Carolina, (virtual speaker), “Distribution-Free Contextual Dynamic Pricing”
Rajesh Ranganath, Assistant Professor, Computer and Data Science, New York University, “Out of Distribution Generalization”
Max Simchowitz, Postdoctoral Researcher, CSAIL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Randomized Smoothing, Online Learning, and Planning Through Contact”
Ambuj Tewari, Professor, Department of Statistics and Department of EECS, University of Michigan, (virtual speaker), “The Tortoise and the Hare: How Learning Theory is Catching Up to Applied Machine Learning
Martin Wainwright, Cecil H. Green Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Computational‐statistical Interplay in Reinforcement Learning”
Yuting Wei, Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics & Data Science, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, (virtual speaker), “A Non-asymptotic Framework for Approximate Message Passing”
Hua Zhou, Professor, Department of Biostatistics, University of California, Los Angeles, (virtual speaker), “Orthogonal Trace-sum Maximization: Applications, Local Algorithms, and Global Optimality”
Hui Zou, Professor of Statistics, University of Minnesota, (virtual speaker), “High-dimensional Clustering via Latent Semiparametric Mixture Models”



Friday, January 13, 2023

  • 8:30AM – 9:00AM Registration and Zoom waiting room open, Breakfast (Rm. 2365) Auditorium
    Michael Daniels, Chair, Department of Statistics
    9:15AM – 10:45AM SESSION 1
    Chair: Michel Daniels
    Martin Wainwright, “Computational‐statistical Interplay in Reinforcement Learning”
    Yuting Wei (virtual), “A Non-asymptotic Framework for Approximate Message Passing”
    10:45AM – 11:00AM MORNING BREAK Room 2365
    11:00AM – 11:45AM SESSION 2
    Chair: Aaron Molstad
    Rajesh Ranganath , “Out of Distribution Generalization”
    11:45AM – 1:00PM LUNCH Room 2365
    1:00PM – 2:30PM SESSION 3 (VIRTUAL)
    Chair: Kshitij Khare
    Hui Zou (virtual), “High-dimensional Clustering via Latent Semiparametric Mixture Models”
    Ambuj Tewari (virtual), “The Tortoise and the Hare: How Learning Theory is Catching Up to Applied Machine Learning”
    2:30PM – 2:45PM AFTERNOON BREAK Room 2365
    2:45PM – 3:30PM SESSION 4 (VIRTUAL)
    Chair: Hani Doss
    Matt Hoffman (virtual), “Running Many-Chain MCMC on Cheap GPUs”
    3:30PM – 4:30PM POSTER SESSION Room 2335

Saturday, January 14, 2023:

  • 8:30AM – 9:00AM Breakfast Room 2365
    9:00AM –   10:30AM SESSION 5 (VIRTUAL)
    Chair: Zhihua Su
    Yuejie Chi (virtual),”Offline Reinforcement Learning: Towards Optimal Sample Complexity and Distributional Robustness”
    Hua Zhou (virtual), “Orthogonal Trace-sum Maximization: Applications, Local Algorithms, and Global Optimality”
    10:30AM – 10:45AM MORNING BREAK Room 2365
    10:45AM – 12:15PM SESSION 6
    Chair: Bikram Karmakar
    Yufeng Liu (virtual),“Distribution-Free Contextual Dynamic Pricing”
    Max Simchowitz, “Randomized Smoothing, Online Learning, and Planning Through Contact”


Travel Awards Competition for Poster Presenters [Deadline for abstract submissions is December 20, 2022]

The Poster Presentation Session is open to graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty.

Travel awards will be awarded to poster presenters who are external to UF and attending live in-person.

In addition, applications will be accepted for review from both anyone attending live/in-person or virtual.

Poster requirements, should you be selected:
48 inches x 36 inches
Each poster display should include a lettered sign giving the title and name(s) of the presenter(s). This sign should be 6 inches with letters at least 2 inches high in a bold font.
Text should be limited to four or five pages of double-spaced, 16-20 point text.

All selected poster presenters will still be required to registers as normal attendees of the conference.

Submission of poster application, click HERE.

Conferences Organizers: Dr. Zhihua Su, Associate Professor and Workshop Chair, Dr. George Michailidis, Director of UF Informatics Institute, Dr. Aaron Molstad, Assistant Professor of Statistics, Dr. Michael Daniels, Chair of Dept. of Statistics

Conference Sponsors: UF Statistics Department, UF Informatics Institute, Infotech Consulting

UF Statistics 2023 Winter Workshop
Friday-Saturday, January 13-14, 2023
8:00AM – 5:00PM
Hybrid – In-person and virtual via Zoom
J. Wayne Reitz Union – Auditorium

The Stats Winter Workshop is co-sponsored by the University of Florida Informatics Institute, Department of Statistics, and InfoTech Consulting.

REGISTRATION FEES: Payable online by credit card.

In-Person Registration Virtual Registration
External to UF/General Registration Fee $150 $75
External to UF Students Registration Fee $60 $30
UF Non-Stats Personnel (Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, Students) $30 $15
Stats Personnel (Faculty, Staff, Postdocs, Students) Free Free

Please let us know if you need a vegetarian, gluten-free, or vegan meal on the registration form.

For more information, contact workshop organizers at

The Program is Sponsored By:

UF Department of Statistics Logo


Friday-Saturday, January 13-14, 2023
J. Wayne Reitz Union
655 Reitz Union Drive 
Gainesville, FL 32611

Location and Hotels


The hotels in the area of Gainesville can be found in the following links:

We encourage participants to rank hotels according to their multiple objectives in terms of costs, distance, etc., and to carefully control check-in and check-out dates and reservation terms.

Coffee and refreshments will be available during conference breaks to encourage informal interactions between the participants.

How to reach Gainesville, FL

Gainesville is serviced by the Gainesville Regional Airport, with direct flights to major international hubs, such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas and Miami. Visitors can also travel to the nearby cities of Orlando (185 kilometers/115 miles), Tampa (209 kilometers/130 miles), and Jacksonville (112 kilometers/70 miles), all with International Airports.

Event Parking

It is recommended that outside visitors acquire a cap or shuttle service from their hotel, if possible, as UF parking on Friday and Saturday will be under normal restrictions. . Please see the linked maps below, however, for further campus details.

UF Campus Map-

UF Parking Map-



January 13 @ 8:00 am
January 14 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


J. Wayne Reitz Union