Dongchu Sun

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Research Professor

Areas of Expertise

Bayesian methods, computations, smoothing splines, spatial and temporal models; applications in fishery and wildlife conservation, econometrics and epidemiology.

Research Interests

Dongchu's current work and research include several distinct, but related, topics. Virtually all of his research is in the area of Bayesian statistics, involving almost all branches of statistics that has seen tremendous growth in the last decade. The goal of Bayesian methods is to improve statistical inference by incorporating information a researcher knows about a problem before collecting the data into the analysis. Incorporating such prior information can result in much improved analysis. Until recently, it was impossible to apply Bayesian methods to a large class of interesting problems because the computations were intractable. However, the advent of low-cost high-speed personal computers and the development of new techniques of Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation as Gibbs sampling have made Bayesian analysis feasible in numerous new areas. While his research before tenure was mostly on optimal properties of Bayesian analysis such as frequentist properties both point estimation and interval estimation, he has developed a systematic research agenda. During the last 25 years, he has not only continue doing research on theoretical properties of Bayesian methodology, he has done a great deal of interdisciplinary research by applying modern statistics to solve complicated practical problems such as wildlife expenditure in wildlife management, response time in psychology, vector autoregressive models in micro-economics, cancer mortality and incidence rates in epidemiology study and time to pregnancy in reproductivity study, etc. Meantime, he believes the natural connection between research and graduate teaching and advising graduate students. 


 Ph.D., Statistics       Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. 1991.


2000:  Elected as an ordinary member of the International Statistical Institute.

2004: Elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association.
2005:  Elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Editorial Board

Co-Editor, Statistics and Related Fields, 2017-

Associate Editor, Journal of the American Statistical Association, T&M, 2007–2013.

Associate Editor, Communications in Statistics, 2006–2012.

Associate Editor, Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference, 2012–2015.

Co-Editor, Sankhya, Series B, 2008–2012.

Editorial Board Member of International Journal of Statistics & Systems, 2006—