S&DS Announces 3 Undergraduate Student Awards

May 26, 2021

Congratulations S&DS Student Award Winners!

Pei Hua Chen, David Zhao, and Paul Gross Receive Awards 

Announced at Commencement 2021 Virtual Celebration on May 23, 2021

The S&DS Department is pleased to announce three undergraduate awards:

2021 S&DS Best Thesis Award goes to Pei Hua Chen.

The S&DS Best Thesis Award is awarded annually to the one S&DS major who has accomplished the most outstanding senior project in the department.  Pei Hua’s thesis is titled:  “Detecting High‐Risk Behavior in Hospitalized COVID Patients at Yale New Haven Hospital Using Smartphone Location Data.”  In this work Pei Hua showed that smart device location data and detailed tax parcel data could be used to identify likely COVID‐19 patients and compare their behavior to devices that reside in the same location.  Pei Hua showed that indeed devices that are likely associated with COVID‐19 cases make more unique contacts than with comparators.  This project topic is extremely timely, and Pei Hua’s analysis is policy-relevant and understandable to a broad audience.  Congratulations Pei Hua!

2021 S&DS Senior Award goes to Daniel Zhao.

The S&DS Senior Award is awarded annually to the S&DS senior who has shown exemplary scholarship and outstanding leadership in statistics and data science.   Daniel embodies the idea of a citizen scholar.  He has a near perfect GPA and double majored in Global Affairs.  Daniel has also been an excellent S&DS citizen.  He has been an active member of the DSAC (Departmental Student Advisory Committee) for many years.   He has organized multiple information events for students, he led a team of DSAC members in overhauling the department’s FAQ (which will go live this summer), and he has been a conscience for the department.   In particular has led many conversations on ways to improve the student culture and our academic offerings. This is even reflected in his choice of Senior thesis titled: Towards Ethics in Data Science Education: Imagining a Data Ethics Curriculum for Yale and Beyond.”  Congratulations Daniel!
2020 John Addison Porter Prize goes to Paul Gross.

The John Addison Porter Prize is given for a written work of scholarship in any field in which it is possible, through original effort, to gather and relate facts, principles, or both, and to make the product of general human interest.   The Porter Prize is one of few prizes awarded university-wide and across disciplines.   Paul Gross, class of 2020, won the award for his thesis titled  “Can Social Norms Decrease Political Polarization?”  (Due to the disruptions last year the 2020 awards are being presented this year.)  Paul’s thesis showed that people hold bipartisanship as a norm and activation of that norm changes how people cast their ballots for elected office.  Congratulations Paul!

Congratulations to these three students and the rest of the S&DS class of 2021!   The S&DS faculty  expect great things from all of you!  But first, take a breather, and enjoy some rest and relaxation this summer.