On March 1, 2020, the paper “Prediction of working memory ability based on EEG by functional data analysis” was officially published in Volume 333 of “The Journal of Neuroscience Methods” (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2019.108552, 333), with first author Zhang Yuanyuan, who is the 2017 PHD student of our center and corresponding author Linhong Ji, who is the professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Tsinghua University. This is the first paper using a multi-function linear model to predict working memory ability with EEG signals. Due to the use of spline functions, the model is intuitive and easy to understand as well as quick and easy calculation and reliable theoretical result. Based on the randomly selected training set consisting of 122 college student volunteers whose eyes are closed during the experiment, under multiple random trials, the median of the determination coefficient R2 of the working memory ability prediction result of the test set consisting of 20 volunteers achieves 0.68. the lowest value of R2 is greater than 50%, while the highest is 72%,

The team of Lijian Yang, composed of Yuanyuan Zhang and 2018 doctoral student Huang, has been analyzing the EEG and cognitive abilities of college student volunteers since December 2018. Relying on the functional data analysis research results in the past 10 years, they collaborated effectively with the Linhong Ji team composed of Professor Fangfang Wu and Master Candidate Jiankai Wang of the Department of Mechanical Engineering to finish this research. The method used involves functional principle component analysis, LASSO regression, spline estimation and other advanced statistical techniques. Since the article was published online in December 2019, the author has repeatedly received invitations from Neurology Congress 2020 and other international conferences in the field of neuroscience.

On February 4, 2020, another academic paper “Two-step estimation for time varying ARCH models” completed by Yuanyuan Zhang as the first author was published online in the statistical journal Journal of Time Series Analysis (https://doi.org/10.1111 /jtsa.12522). The method proposed in this paper is used to estimate the time-varying scale of S & P 500 daily returns from 1950 to 2018 and the hidden ARCH parameters, clearly revealing the long-term slow growth of financial volatility levels over time. In particular, the volatility scale increased significantly before and after the 2008 global financial crisis. The article won the ICSA China Conference Junior Researcher Award from the International Chinese Statistical Association in July 2019. Zhang Yuanyuan is the only student among the 4 winners, and the only one who is not from American universities.

Yuanyuan Zhang worked modestly and diligently during the two and a half years of his Ph.D. study. In each direction of functional data and time series, she published one important paper and was selected into the “Future Professor Training Program” of the Industrial Engineering Department. Her master’s degree thesis on the simultaneous confidence band of the non-parametric regression correlation coefficient curve was published in the statistical journal TEST in 2018, and won the Tsinghua-Peking Statistics Forum Outstanding Poster Award in the same year. Currently, Yuanyuan Zhang is studying the theory of binary spline regression under the guidance of Professor Lily Wang of Iowa State University as well as new topics such as high-frequency financial data distribution.

(Translated by Kun Huang)

Statistics and Operations Research has developed rapidly at Tsinghua University in recent years.  Its position at the  QS World University Ranking has been going up steadily, from 26th in 2016 to 16th this year and is gradually approaching the top-10 in the world.
QS World Ranking of Statistics and Operations Research at Tsinghua University over the past 5 Years

On Jan 9, 2020, Dr. Tianying Wang who’s doing postdoctoral research at Columbia University visited our center and gave a talk. The title was Integrated Quantile RAnk Test (iQRAT) for gene-level associations in sequencing studies。


On Dember 30, 2019, Prof. Jingchen Liu from Columbia University visited our center and gave a talk. The title wasAn Exploration of Latent Structure in Process Data.

Prof. Liu
The talk

It is our great honor to have Professor Zhenning Yang visiting the Center for Statistical Science of Tsinghua University. Professor Yang (Chen-Ning Franklin Yang) is one of the Nobel prize winner in physics, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and honorary president of Institute for Advanced Study of Tsinghua University. He was invited by Academician Tang Jiahao, a distinguished visiting professor of the Center.

The teachers and students warmly welcomed Prof. Yang’s visit.

Prof. Yang was warmly welcomed by the teachers and students of the Center for Statistical Science. The students cherished this rare opportunity of meeting this distinguished guest.

Associate Professor Deng Ke (left) introduced the Center for Statistical Science to Prof. Yang.
Prof. Yang read through the annual report of the Center.

Prof. Yang was at the Center for Statistical Science.

Prof. Yang visited the Center for Statistical Science under the introduction of Associate Professor Deng Ke, the deputy director of the Center, and learned about the construction of Statistics discipline, as well as the situations of its talents’ cultivation at Tsinghua University. Speaking of Statistics, Mr. Yang said that when he was studying at the National SouthWest Associated University, the teacher of the statistics course was the famous mathematician Mr. Xu Baolu. Those interesting stories in the past still remain fresh in Prof. Yang’s memory, and was shared with today’s statisticians.

Prof.Yang held a talk with PHD students.

The talk with PHD students was originally planned to last for half an hour, but turned out to be nearly one and a half hour. Prof. Yang’s clear thinking and loud voice impressed all the students. We could hardly believe that this is a 97-year-old professor. Prof.Yang shared with the PHD students that it is normal to feel anxious about choosing the direction of academic research, because most scholars have had the same feelings during this period. What we should do is to start from our own interests and devote ourselves to exploration before we could unearth new problems and new discoveries.

Professor Tang Jiahao mentioned that he recently opened a short course on writing for PHD students, pointing out that the writing of English academic papers is also a common problem encountered by the students. Prof. Yang then shared his method to improve his English at a young age — reading. It was recommended to read the original novels written by famous writers such as Hemingway and read the whole novel without using the dictionaries. This method proved to be very efficient at improving the English ability.

The students said that they were all deeply impressed and touched by the words and encouragement from Prof. Yang, and appreciated this great opportunity of communicating with this world top scientist very much.

Prof. Yang Zhenning and teachers and students of the Center.

On March 25, 2019, Jinzhu Jia from Peking University visited our center and gave a talk. The title was On the Efficiency of Logistic Regression Estimators in Estimating the Causal Effect.


On March 21, 2019, Professor Xianchun  Xu, Professor of the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University and Director of the China Center for Economic and Social Data Research at Tsinghua University, visited our center and gave a special talk. The report was hosted by Professor Deng Ke from the Center for Statistics and Research of Tsinghua University. The title of this report is “China’s New Economy: Role, Characteristics and Statistical Challenges”.


On March 4, 2019, Tsinghua University Statistics Forum was successfully held at 209, Weiqing Building, Tsinghua University. This forum invited Professor Lin Wei, a researcher in the Department of Probability and Statistics and the Center for Statistical Science of Peking University School of Mathematical Sciences. The title of the report is Scalable Estimation and Regularization for the Logistic Normal Multinomial Model.


On July 28, 2018, the 2018 International Statistical Conference (2018 JSM) was held in Vancouver, Canada. The Center for Statistics and Research of Tsinghua University sent a delegation to attend the conference and achieved fruitful results.

JSM is the largest academic activity in the international statistical community. It is an annual event for global statisticians. Thousands of experts, scholars and industry professionals from dozens of countries around the world participated in this event to discuss statistics. The latest scientific research results, breakthroughs and progress in applications, methods, and theories, as well as data science and other related issues. JSM has also established an open and shared platform for statisticians in the statistics and industry, enabling professionals to exchange ideas, establish mutually beneficial cooperation, and jointly promote the development of statistics.

Academic report

During the JSM conference, Professor Yu Sheng introduced Tsinghua Statistics to statistical scholars, experts and aspiring young people from all over the world. The center introduced the statistics discipline of Tsinghua University, which effectively enhanced the international recognition and academic influence of Tsinghua Statistics, and further promoted Tsinghua Statistics to the international platform.

Professor Yu Sheng

Academic Committee

On August 1st, local time, during the JSM annual meeting, the academic committee of the Center for Statistics Science of Tsinghua University met. The Academic Committee held discussions on the development of the central discipline during the JSM meeting each year. Several members were generally concerned about the current echelon construction, the training and promotion of young talents, and the positioning and development of the center. When it comes to the existing framework, we should actively promote open source projects and use the foundations and resources of the government and industry to help the center develop faster.


Academic committee discussion

Academic committee member and center representative

Discipline Development and Recruitment Presentation

On July 30th, local time, the Center for Statistics and Research of Tsinghua University successfully held the “Disciplinary Development and Recruitment Seminar” during the JSM meeting. This presentation aims to introduce in detail the development of the Statistics Department of Tsinghua University and the outstanding achievements of the Center for Statistics Research, and encourage high-level overseas statistical talents to join Tsinghua University to jointly promote the development of Tsinghua’s statistical discipline.

At the presentation, Prof. Yu Sheng from the center introduced the research, academic achievements and team composition of the center. Finally, Professor Niu Xiaoyue, the center’s visiting professor and deputy director of the Statistical Counseling Center, explained the positioning of Tsinghua University’s statistical consulting center and the rapid development in a short period of one year and the future development direction. The presentation attracted about 40 people from all walks of life and Tsinghua alumni, and achieved good publicity and expanded the industry’s influence and appeal.

Tsinghua University JSM presentation meeting site

Group photo of the delegation


From June 8 to 10, 2018, the summer camp for outstanding college students at the Center for  Statistic Science of Tsinghua University was successfully held . The event attracted more than 300 undergraduate students from all colleges and universities across the country to sign up. After several rounds of screening, 36 students from 19 universities including Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, and Nankai University,University of Science and Technology of China, Shandong Normal University and Northwest Normal University were enrolled in the event.

Academic Report Examination and Presentation
The Award Ceremony