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This year, the Robert L. Newcomb Memorial Endowed Graduate Student Award was split between two students, Hina Arora and Tong Zou. The classmates and friends were pleased to win the award. Arora, who is a Ph.D. student interested in statistical methodology and applied machine learning, was “very excited and thankful” to hear she had won. She hopes to have a research career after earning her Ph.D.

Zou is a master’s student researching bloodstain pattern analysis under the guidance of Chancellor’s Professor of Statistics Hal Stern. “I felt honored and proud,” he says of winning the award, “knowing my efforts over the last year have paid off.” He adds that he is “very grateful” for the professors who have trained him to have a “statistical mindset.” Zou plans to apply for a Ph.D. program in statistics.

The Newcomb Graduate Award was created to honor the life of Bob Newcomb and his contributions as founding director of UCI’s Center for Statistical Consulting. In recognition of his passion for getting students interested in statistics, the fellowship fund provides statistical support to researchers and helps advance the careers of graduate students in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS).

— Shani Murray