Wang named 2024 Fellow of American Statistical Association

Professor honored for outstanding contributions and exceptional leadership of data science programs

Friday, May 17, 2024 • Greg Pederson :

Sherry Wang
Sherry Wang, Jenkins Garret Endowed Professor of Statistics and Data Science

Xinlei “Sherry” Wang, director for research in the Division of Data Science at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been named a 2024 Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA).

Wang, who is also the Jenkins Garret Endowed Professor of Statistics and Data Science, was selected for outstanding contributions in developing and applying statistical and computational methods for complex data challenges; for excellence in mentoring Ph.D. students and junior researchers; and for exceptional leadership of data science programs.

ASA is the world’s largest community of statisticians. It was founded in 1839 and is the second-oldest, continuously operating professional association in the country. ASA Fellows have been designated for nearly 100 years, and only up to one-third of one percent of the total association membership can be elected as fellows each year.

“I am honored to be elected an ASA Fellow and recognized by my profession,” Wang said. “I'm truly grateful for the support I've received from my department, college, and university since I joined UTA, which undoubtedly contributed to this achievement.

“This recognition is a testament to the incredible collaborations I've had with students and colleagues throughout my career. I'm especially grateful to my academic advisor, Dr. Edward George [professor emeritus of statistics and data science at the University of Pennsylvania], and my former professor and career mentor, Dr. Lynne Stokes [professor emerita of statistical science at Southern Methodist University], for their unwavering support throughout my career.

“Additionally, I'd like to thank Dr. Steven Ma [professor and chair of biostatistics at Yale University] for the entire nomination process and Dr. Tamara Brown [UTA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs] for her strong endorsement."

Wang joined UTA in January 2023 as director of the College of Science’s newly created Center for Data Science Research and Education (CDSRE). She and her colleagues launched the College’s first graduate degree in data science, the M.S. in Applied Statistics and Data Science (ASDS), in Fall 2023.

In January 2024, College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi appointed Wang as director for research of a new Division of Data Science, which serves as a hub to organize, provide infrastructure support, and facilitate growth in instructional and research programs involving data science. The DDS houses the College’s bachelor’s and master’s programs in data science, as well as the CDSRE.

“Dr. Wang is very deserving of this honor of being named an ASA Fellow,” Khaledi said. “This recognition is a testament to her outstanding scholarship. She has played a major role in building and advancing our data science program in the College of Science, and we’re very fortunate to have her here at UTA.”

Wang received a B.S. degree in Automatic Control from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1997 and an M.A. degree in Statistics at the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. She earned a Ph.D. in Decision Science and Statistics from the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin in 2002.

She joined the faculty at SMU in 2003 as an assistant professor in the Department of Statistical Sciences. She was promoted to associate professor in 2009 and to full professor in 2015. Her research was funded by major grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. At SMU she was named a Gerald J. Ford Senior Research Fellow (2020) and received the Dean’s Research Council Award (2022).

She has authored or co-authored more than 90 papers in refereed publications and made more than 75 presentations at conferences and seminars around the world. She has directed Ph.D. dissertations for 19 students, with seven more in progress.

Wang has been an ASA member since 1999 and has served the ASA in various capacities, including as vice president (2009–10) and president (2010–11) of the North Texas Chapter. She will be formally recognized as a 2024 Fellow at an awards ceremony at the 2024 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Portland, Oregon, in August. JSM is the is the largest gathering of statisticians and data scientists in North America and is held jointly with 13 organizations, including ASA.


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