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Bin Yu, UC Berkeley

Curating a COVID-19 data repository and forecasting county-level death counts in the United States



As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, accurate forecasting continues to play an extremely important role in informing policy decisions. In this talk, I will describe a large data repository containing COVID-19 information curated from a range of different sources. This data is then used to develop several predictors and prediction intervals for forecasting the short-term (e.g., over the next week) trajectory of COVID-19-related recorded deaths at the county-level in the United States.


Bin Yu is Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor and Class of 1936 Second Chair in the Departments of Statistics and of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley and a former chair of Statistics at UC Berkeley. 

Yu's research focuses on practice, algorithm, and theory of statistical machine learning and causal inference. Her group is engaged in interdisciplinary research with scientists from genomics, neuroscience, and precision medicine. In order to augment empirical evidence for decision-making, they are investigating methods/algorithms (and associated statistical inference problems) such as dictionary learning, non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), EM, and deep learning (CNNs and LSTMs), and heterogeneous effect estimation in randomized experiments (X-learner). Their recent algorithms include staNMF for unsupervised learning, iterative Random Forests (iRF), and signed iRF (s-iRF) for discovering predictive and stable high-order interactions in supervised learning, contextual decomposition (CD), and aggregated contextual decomposition (ACD) for interpretation of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). 

Yu is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2006, and the Tukey Memorial Lecturer of the Bernoulli Society in 2012. She was President of IMS (Institute of Mathematical Statistics) in 2013-2014 and the Rietz Lecturer of IMS in 2016. She received the E. L. Scott Award from COPSS (Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies) in 2018. Moreover, Yu was a founding co-director of the Microsoft Research Asia (MSR) Lab at Peking University and is a member of the scientific advisory board at the UK Alan Turing Institute for data science and AI.