Ying Yan, Pierre Robillard Award 2015

Ying Yan
Pierre Robillard Award
Université de Waterloo

Thesis Advisor: 

Grace Yi

Thesis Topic: 

Statistical Methods on Survival Data with Measurement Error

Dr Ying Yan is the winner of the 2014 Pierre Robillard Award of the Statistical Society of Canada. This prize recognizes the best PhD thesis in probability or statistics defended at a Canadian university in a given year. Ying's thesis is entitled "Statistical Methods on Survival Data with Measurement Error". It was written at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Grace Yi.


Ying's PhD work focused on the analysis of survival data with measurement error. He developed a rich class of methods to correct for covariate error in additive hazards models, providing insightful and computationally compelling solutions. He proposed a general strategy to unify many existing methods and enhance our understanding of the available work in the literature. The issue of misspecification of the measurement error model is also addressed, with the identification of intrinsic conditions so that the developed testing procedures remain valid. Finally, Ying extended his research to the high-dimensional survival data regime, providing methods to perform simultaneous variable selection and parameter estimation.

Ying Yan was born in Qingyuan, China. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2008. Afterwards, he moved to the University of Waterloo, completing a Master of Mathematics in Statistics and a PhD in 2010 and 2014, respectively. As of September 2014 he is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will move on in July 2015 to a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Calgary. His current research interests are survival and event history analysis, clinical designs (including biased sampling, case-cohort, case-control), measurement error and missing data, quantile regression and high-dimensional data analysis.

The criteria used in selecting the winner of the Pierre Robillard Award include the originality of ideas and techniques, the possible applications and their treatment, and the potential impact of the work. The award is named in memory of Professor Pierre Robillard, an outstanding dynamic young statistician at the Université de Montréal, whose untimely death in 1975 cut short what promised to be a highly distinguished career.

Ying Yan will present the results of his thesis in a special session at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 14 to 17, 2015.

The citation for the award reads: 

"To Ying Yan, for the thesis entitled 'Statistical Methods on Survival Data with Measurement Error."