Ken Kennedy Institute's February Member of the Month: Su Chen

The Ken Kennedy Institute's February Member of the Month, Su Chen, is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Data to Knowledge Lab (D2K).

Su Chen

The Ken Kennedy Institute's February Member of the Month, Su Chen, is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Data to Knowledge Lab (D2K). Her doctoral research lies in the interaction of methodology, theory and computation of Bayesian statistics and their applications to high dimensional data analysis.

Dr. Chen joined the D2K Lab in July 2020 as an Assistant Teaching Professor. She received her PhD in the department of Statistics and Data Science at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics with a focus in Actuarial Science. She is an Associate of Society of Actuaries (ASA) and has experience working in an actuarial consulting firm. She has experience developing and teaching both lower and upper division undergraduate courses in math, statistics, and data science at UT-Austin and Texas A&M University.

What is your favorite book?

I don't have one favorite, but here are a few that I read when I was a teenager and found myself going back from time to time.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • The Ice Palace by Tariei Vesaas
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

How do you explain your research in one sentence?

My PhD research focused on theory and methodology in Bayesian statistics, in particularly in variable selection and hypothesis testing. I am very interested in applications of data science and machine learning in psychology and social sciences.

What is your favorite aspect of your research?

My favorite aspect of research is that I am learning something new constantly! I am passionate about teaching and I am looking forward doing research in data science pedagogy.

What challenges do you see in your research that you didn't expect?

Right now, the biggest challenge for me is to transition from "supervised research" to "unsupervised research". I am currently exploring areas for future research, and actively looking for opportunities to collaborate!

What is a favorite experience with the Ken Kennedy Institute or describe a time the Ken Kennedy Institute supported you in the past?

I participated in the research "speed dating" event that the Ken Kennedy Institute organized with MD Anderson Cancer Center and it was a great opportunity for collaborations, especially for someone like me who just started at Rice. I also find the monthly luncheon talks very interesting and I love to hear about research using data science across disciplines and get to know my colleagues!