The Statistics in Action series was created to further expose students to how data and statistics are used in organizations and enable them to interact with local professionals.

statistics in action 300x250px1Statistics in Action

Welcome to the Spring 2014 Statistics in Action seminar series. 

Sign-up for each seminar will occur the prior to the seminar. Your instructor will have more details. Registration is required and will open at 9:00 pm the Thursday before each series session. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Seating is limited and usually fills quickly. Registration is restricted to those students in SSC 302, 304, 306, and 328M.


To learn more about the seminar series, you may go here.

 pdfRegistration Policies

Spring 2014 Schedule

Speaker Date Time Location
Furiex Pharmaceuticals 
5:00 pm POB 2.302
Office of the State Demographer Feb. 11 5:00 pm POB 2.302
Freescale Semiconductor Feb. 25 5:00 pm POB 2.302
Austin Energy Mar. 4 5:00 pm POB 2.302
Mass Relevance Mar. 18 5:00 pm POB 2.302
Unique Influence  Apr. 1 5:00 pm POB 2.302
PPD Apr. 22 5:00 pm POB 2.302

Furiex Pharmaceuticals

Speaker: David Andrae, PhD, Director of Biostatistics and Psychometrics

Dr Andrae received his PhD in cognitive and quantitative psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After a brief stint constructing psychometric interviews for a human resources company, he has worked in clinical research as a programmer and statistician since 2001. He has worked on over 100 clinical trials and represented several companies at FDA meetings. Due to increasing regulatory and industry interest in patient-reported outcome measures for clinical trials, Dr Andrae's psychometric background has led him to specialize in the construction, validation, and analysis of such measures. Currently, Dr Andrae is working on clinical development programs for an irritable bowel syndrome treatment as well as an antibiotic.

About Furiex Pharmaceuticals:

Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a drug development collaboration company using innovative clinical development designs to accelerate and increase the value of partnered drug programs by advancing them through development in a cost-efficient manner. As the biopharmaceutical industry faces increased R&D spending with fewer successful therapies reaching the market, Furiex offers a new approach to help drug developers lower development costs and deliver products to the market more efficiently.

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Speaker: Lila Valencia, PhD 

Lila Valencia is a researcher and legislative liaison at the Office of the State Demographer. She has over 10 years of experience in quantitative and qualitative research in both the public and private sectors. Her current work focus involves understanding and communicating demographic trends and processes in Texas. Lila holds a Ph.D. in Applied Demography from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Masters in Psychology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, and a Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin. She is originally from Brownsville, Texas.

About the Office of the State Demographer:

The Office of the State Demographer disseminates demographic and related socioeconomic data to the State of Texas and the general public. The State Demographer monitors demographic and socioeconomic changes in the State in order to better inform the executive and legislative branches of Texas government. Special emphasis is placed on data that may be useful to policy makers in dealing with issues regarding the demand for state services.

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Freescale Semiconductor

Speaker: Steve Gray, Chief Data Scientist and Head of Data Warehousing for Freescale Semiconductor

Steve Gray is currently the Chief Data Scientist and Head of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence at Freescale Semiconductor. Throughout his career at Freescale (and as part of Motorola Semiconductor Products), Steve has worked on analytics automation, predominantly in high volume manufacturing. Even as a mid-sized semiconductor company, the manufacturing lines from Freescale produce ~15 Terabytes of electrical test results each month; deriving business value and actionable insight from this data has been a focus over the majority of his career. Statistics and data mining must be able to drive business value, and there are truly only two ways to do that, through bottom line improvements and top line growth. The decisions that are driven from manufacturing are focused squarely on bottom line improvement: efficiency gains and distribution tightening. Learning to derive insight on top line growth opportunities is the current focus of Steve and his teams at Freescale.

About Freescale:

Freescale is the global leader in embedded processing solutions, advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog ICs and connectivity – our technologies are the foundation to the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected.

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Speaker: Elizabeth Jambor

Liz Jambor is the Acting Manager of Data Analytics and Business Intelligence for Austin Energy. She has been working in the area of statistically-based research for over 30 years and still finds it fascinating. She has studied the areas of parks and recreation management, sports marketing/management, sports leadership, fans as consumers of sport, Texans as consumers of lottery games, and Austinites as consumers of electricity. She truly enjoys statistics because it helps answer the questions and often generates even more questions to pose, study, and answer. Her favorite statistically significant finding is in the area of minor league baseball.

About Austin Energy:

Austin Energy is the nation’s 8th largest community-owned electric utility. We serve more than 420,000 customers and a population of almost one million. We provide service within the City of Austin, Travis County, and a small portion of Williamson County. As a publicly owned power company and a department of the City of Austin, the Austin City Council sets our policies and strategic direction. Austin Energy returns profits to the community annually — profits that help fund City services such as fire, police, EMS, parks, and libraries. Since 2010, Austin Energy’s contributions have totaled more than $100 million each year.

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Speaker: Chris Kerns, Director of Analytics
Chris Kerns has spent more than a decade defining digital strategy and finding insights from digital data. He currently leads the Analytics team at Mass Relevance, a social experience platform that enables brands to create real-time consumer engagement by aggregating, filtering, and re-displaying content from any social network to any digital property. Prior to Mass Relevance, Chris led the Social Analytics team at Bazaarvoice, mining user-generated content for groundbreaking insights on products, brands, and consumer sentiment. Before joining Bazaarvoice, he spent seven years leading Digital Analytics at ZAAZ (now POSSIBLE), the top agency for digital measurement and performance marketing.Chris holds an undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and an MBA from the University of Washington. Follow him at @chriskerns.

About Mass Relevance:

As the world leader in social media curation and integration, Mass Relevance inspires brands to involve their audience. Partnering with companies from every industry from media to retail, we help our clients drive real-time engagement, participation, buzz, and sales. With our visually compelling platform and products, our social experiences can be displayed on any digital surface including mobile, web, and TV. Mass Relevance is the first curation partner licensed to re-syndicate Twitter content for display purposes, providing a singular platform for brands and media to curate, integrate and monetize social integration into TV, web, mobile and large screen.

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Unique Influence

Speaker: Ryan Pitylak, CEO of Unique Influence

Ryan Pitylak, CEO of Unique Influence, has been in the internet marketing business for over 13 years. During his tenure in the field he has developed expertise across a variety of internet marketing channels, including search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, Facebook advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, landing page optimization, and website design. Akin to his broad range of internet marketing skills, Pitylak believes in an approach to internet marketing that takes all potential channels into account when developing a strategy and execution plan.

About Unique Influence:

Unique Influence is a company that helps firms that are under incredible pressure to grow and is led by established entrepreneurs who understand the importance of hitting these goals. As a digital PR and marketing firm, Unique Influence works with its clients to create a plan to grow their business using internet marketing techniques like search engine marketing.

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PPD (Pharmaceutical Product Development)

Speakers: TBA

About PPD:

PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing drug discovery, development and lifecycle management services. Our clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations.
With offices in 46 countries and more than 12,500 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help clients and partners accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics and maximize the returns on their R&D investments.

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