On May 10-11, 2019, more than 100 statisticians and engineers, from both academia and industry, gathered at The Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech in honor of Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor C. F. Jeff Wu. WuFest, a conference on engineering statistics and related topics, was hosted by the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and celebrated Wu’s impressive career and his 70th birthday.
Wu is an iconic figure in the field of engineering statistics. Throughout his career he has made fundamental contributions to the methodological and theoretical developments of a wide variety of statistical and application areas which include design and analysis of experiments (optimal, sequential, and factorial), computer experiments, robust parameter design, statistical computing, re-sampling methods, complex surveys, nonlinear least squares, and uncertainty quantification.
The conference brought together top scholars in these areas — some of whom were advised by Wu during their Ph.D. studies — from Asia, Europe, and the Americas to present their new research findings. WuFest also served as an opportunity for both speakers and attendees to collaborate and discuss their ideas and visions of emerging problems in their fields. Session topics included engineering statistics, statistical applications, design of experiments, fundamentals of experimentation and inference, optimal design, and uncertainty quantification.
“It was a great honor,” Wu said. “To see so many former students and colleagues that I respect at the conference was very special.” Wu is also thankful for the support of ISyE, Georgia Tech, and the WuFest planning committee.
One of the many highlights of the conference for Wu was a talk given at the banquet dinner by Xiao-Li Meng, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Statistics at Harvard University and the founding editor-in-chief of the Harvard Data Science Review. In his talk entitled “Is Jeff Wu a Data Scientist?”, Meng deconstructed Wu’s famous 1997 lecture “Statistics = Data Science” in which Wu advocated that statistics be renamed data science. Wu’s family — including both of his children, their spouses, and his granddaughter — was also in attendance for the tribute.
“Jeff is a true leader in the field of engineering statistics,” said Roshan Joseph, one of Wu’s ISyE colleagues and chair of the WuFest planning committee. “He has done impactful work in both theoretical and applied problems, and his impact has multiplied through the work of his students, who have published more than 1,800 papers to date (without Wu being a co-author) in statistics and engineering.”
Wu’s professional achievements are unmatched. He is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering (2004) and Academia Sinica (2000). His is also a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the American Society for Quality, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the American Statistical Association. Wu has also won numerous awards, including the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Presidents Award in 1987, the Deming Lecture Award by American Statistical Association in 2012, the Fisher Lecture Award by COPSS in 2011, the Shewhart Medal by the American Society of Quality in 2008, the Pan Wenyuan Technology Award (Taiwan) in 2008, the Box Medal by the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics in 2018, and the inaugural Akaike Memorial Lecture Award in 2017 (Japan).
Wu’s work is widely cited in professional journals and magazines. He has served as editor or associate editor for several major statistical journals and has published more than 175 research articles in peer review journals. He has supervised 49 Ph.D. students, out of which 21 are fellows of professional societies, and he has almost 200 “grand graduate students” that have been supervised by his former students.
H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering