Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department Colloquium

Grace Y. Yi (University of Western Ontario)

Friday, January 15th, 2021

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Online (via Zoom)

Speaker: Grace Y. Yi (University of Western Ontario)

Title: Characterizing the Dynamic of COVID-19 with a New Epidemic Model.

Abstract: The mystery of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the lack of effective treatment for COVID-19 have presented a strikingly negative impact on public health. While research on COVID-19 has been ramping up rapidly, a very important yet somewhat overlooked challenge is on the quality and unique features of COVID-19 data. The manifestations of COVID-19 are not yet well understood. The swift spread of the virus is largely attributed to its stealthy transmissions in which infected patients may be asymptomatic or exhibit only flu-like symptoms in the early stage. Due to the limited test resources and a good portion of asymptomatic infections, the confirmed cases are typically under-reported, error-contaminated, and involved with substantial noise. In this talk, I will discuss some issues related to faulty COVID-19 data and present a new model to describe the dynamic evolution of COVID-19. In addition, I will mention a website of COVID-19 Canada (, developed by the team co-led by Dr. Wenqing He and myself, which provides a comprehensive and real-time visualization of the Canadian COVID-19 data.

Grace Y. Yi is a professor of the University of Western Ontario where she currently holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Data Science. She received her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Toronto in 2000 and then joined the University of Waterloo as a postdoctoral fellow (2000-2001), Assistant Professor (2001-2004), Associate Professor (2004-2010), Professor (2010-2019), and University Research Chair (2011-2018). Her research interests focus on developing methodology to address various challenges concerning Data Science, public health, cancer research, epidemiological studies, environmental studies, and social science. Her recent research has been centered around investigating machine learning and statistical methods to tackle problems concerning imaging data, missing data, measurement error in variables, causal inference, high dimensional data, survival data, and longitudinal data. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute. She won the prestigious CRM–SSC Prize of the Statistical Society of Canada in 2010. She was a recipient of the University Faculty Award (2004-2009) granted by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Her work with Xianming Tan and Runze Li won the Canadian Journal of Statistics Award for 2016. She has served the professions in various capacities. She was the Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Journal of Statistics (2016-2018) as well as the President of the Biostatistics Section of the Statistical Society of Canada in 2016, and the Founder of the first chapter (Canada Chapter, established in 2012) of International Chinese Statistical Association (ICSA).