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Professor Song-Chun Zhu and Collaborators Use NewsScape Video Archive to Analyze Social and Political Communications

UCLA Statistics and Communication Studies professors are working on statistically analysing thousands of hours of news clips to better understand the nature of human communication. The project is a collaboration among social and political scientists, statisticians, linguists and computer scientists.

One product has been the Viz 2016 website that focuses on understanding the news streams from the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

More details are available in this Daily Bruin article.

Master of Applied Statistics Program approved with first students in Fall 2016!

We are excited to announce that our Master of Applied Statistics program has received final approval from the UC President and becomes the newest program offered by the department.

The Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) program was created in response to the increasingly high demand from students seeking a terminal master’s degree in data science and quantitative analytics.

The MAS program will prepare students for work in industry through an emphasis on methods and theory commonly used in applications. The MAS will cater primarily to part-time students. Courses for the new program will be offered in the evening, so that professionals can continue working while completing their degrees. The degree will require a thesis project that will involve working closely with an industry partner and a faculty member to solve a real scientific or business problem. This will
often be in the field where the student is working, thus deepening their understanding of it. The Department has various business, industry and government partners to provide internships, thesis topics, support for their employees, and job prospects for graduating students.

Applications will be accepted starting in the late Fall of 2015 for students wishing to begin the program in the Fall of 2016.

We welcome companies or agencies that are interested in working with the MAS Program.

For full details please visit the new MAS website.

UCLA Department of Statistics Presents

UCLA Department of Statistics Seminar Series

Mon, 2/8/2016, 3:30 PM—4:30 PM
4357 Bunche Hall

Weixin Li, Tim Groeling and Song-Chun Zhu

Department of Statistics
UCLA

Joint Image-Text Parsing for Analyzing Social and Political News Events

Media news plays a vital role in informing citizens, affecting public opinion, and influencing policy making. The flow of information in society is an important topic in social and political science research, but the sheer volume of news data has made manual analysis exceptionally difficult.

In this talk, we will present a joint project on joint image-text parsing, including news story segmentation, topic detection, clustering, and tracking with a hierarchical statistical model called And-Or Graph. Detected topics can show a comprehensive interpretation of the related news events, and topic trajectories can reveal how topics evolve over time. Together, these tools provide an automatic news parsing solution to feed further analysis. This information is further combined with sentiment analysis in tweets.

Then we will show two case studies: (i) tracking the 2016 U.S. presidential election; and (ii) analyzing gun violence events. We have built a website (viz2016.com) to present accessible visual summaries of our large-scale election tracking results. We will introduce the website in this talk and show how to use the data. For the gun violence case study, we will discuss our topic tracking and sentiment analysis results.

We will also talk about our automated analyses of news visuals, including communicative intent inference and facial trait judgement. These analyses show how news media leverage images to visually persuade their audiences, and demonstrate the social dimensions of faces and their impact on real-world events.

Finally, we will discuss the next steps for the project, including our newly-launched effort to begin digitizing local and national television news content dating back to 1970s.

This is a joint work since 2010 between communications studies (Tim Groeling, Francis Steen) and Statistics/Computer Science (Weixin Li, Tao Yuan, Jungseock Joo, and Song-Chun Zhu), sponsored by the NSF CDI program CNS 1028381

Full-time Lecturer for 2016-2017 Academic Year

The UCLA Department of Statistics seeks a full-time lecturer with a strong commitment to excellence in teaching statistics to fill a one-year temporary position for the 2016-2017 academic year starting on July 1, 2016.

Ideal candidates will have a Ph.D. in Statistics, a demonstrated excellence in teaching, knowledge of and experience with R, experience in applied statistics, and a commitment to excellent undergraduate teaching. Lecturers are expected to continue scholarly work, either through research in statistics education, research in statistics, statistical consulting, or other scholarly activities, and candidates should discuss their chosen pursuits in their cover letter.

Reviews for the position will commence on February 22, 2016 and will close on May 31, 2016. Interested applicants should apply by submitting a CV and cover letter to UCLA Academic Recruit at:

https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/apply/JPF01914

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct

All inquiries may be sent to:
Robert Gould
Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Studies
UCLA Department of Statistics

rgould@stat.ucla.edu

UCLA Joint Statistics and Communication Studies Faculty Search

Open-ranked faculty position (tenure-track Assistant Professor or tenured Associate/Full Professor) split in the Department of Statistics (50%) and Department of Communication Studies (50%) at the University of California, Los Angeles. We seek outstanding applicants contributing to the cutting-edge development of the intersection between machine learning and large datasets of multimodal human communication in social and mass media. We welcome applicants whose experience in research, teaching and service has prepared them to contribute to UCLA’s commitment to excellence and diversity. Ph.D. in Statistics, Communication, or a related field is required by date of anticipated appointment of June 30, 2016. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience. Please refer to Tracking Job #JPF01896 on all correspondence.

Reviews for the position will commence on Feb. 1, 2016 and will continue until a successful candidate is identified. Interested applicants should apply at UCLA Academic Recruit at:

https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/apply/JPF01896

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy at

http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct

Applicants should submit:

1) Curriculum vitae
2) Cover letter describing how their qualifications and interests would fit with the position description
3) Two representative publications (or preprints)
4) Statement of research
5) Statement of teaching
6) Three-four letters of recommendation (or for especially distinguished figures, a list of 3-4 individuals who can serve as a reference)

All inquiries may be sent to Chie Ryu at chie.ryu@stat.ucla.edu.

UCLA Statistics/Mathematics Faculty Search

Open-ranked faculty position (tenure-track Assistant Professor or tenured Associate/Full Professor) split in the Department of Statistics (50%) and Department of Mathematics (50%) at the University of California, Los Angeles. We seek outstanding applicants contributing to the cutting edge development of machine learning, big data or data science. We welcome applicants whose experience in research, teaching and service has prepared them to contribute to UCLA’s commitment to excellence and diversity. Ph.D. in Mathematics, Statistics, or a related field is required by date of anticipated appointment of July 1, 2016. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience. Please refer to Tracking Job #JPF01740 on all correspondence.

Reviews for the position will commence on Nov 15, 2015 and will continue until a successful candidate is identified. Interested applicants should apply at UCLA Academic Recruit at:

https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/apply/JPF01740

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy at:

http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct

Applicants should submit:

1) CV
2) Cover letter describing how their qualifications and interests would fit with the position description
3) Two representative publications (or preprints)
4) Statement of research
5) Statement of teaching
6) Three letters of recommendation

All inquiries may be sent to Chie Ryu at chie.ryu@stat.ucla.edu.