Luella Fu


I am Luella Fu, a Ph.D. candidate in the statistics group, part of the Department of Data Sciences and Operations at University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. Next fall, it will be my pleasure to join the faculty in the Department of Mathematics at San Francisco State University as an assistant professor of statistics. I honestly have many, many people to thank for this, including family, friends, advisors, the pleasant people I met when I was on the job market, and even kind drivers who shuttled me to and from airports! Searching for an academic position was a wonderful experience. Thanks to everyone!

My methodological focuses are in nonparametric empirical Bayes methods and multiple testing. This is an amazing field with so many applications to large-scale data and so much still to develop in terms of theoretically-backed statistical techniques. I previously worked on high dimensional regression and model selection. I am also interested in how statistics are used in application, and have worked on medical and social network problems. Click for my CV.

Teaching is also a primary interest of mine. I have instructed one class, guest-lectured a few, and been teaching or course assistant for several. I would like to model a class on An Introduction to Statistical Learning with Applications in R, because the material's practical focus may make it a good candidate for flipping a classroom. In class, students could implement algorithms in R, have more resources to troubleshoot their difficulties, and exchange thoughts. At home, they could watch lecture segments at their own pace. Having attended teaching workshops at USC's Center for Excellence in Teaching, I have been cautioned that classroom flipping can be a very ambitious endeavor. Therefore, my first goal is to flip one lesson.

My graduate school experience has been illuminated by faculty, collaborators, and peers. My co-advisors are Dr. Wenguang Sun and Dr. Gareth James. Their quality of thought, creativity, and work flow inspire me all the time.

Other collaborators with whom I have worked closely have included Dr. Pallavi Basu on multiple testing; my sister Dr. Sue Fu on a study of surgical costs; and Dr. Thomas Valente, Megan Jacobs, Jody Brookover, Dr. Nate Cobb, and Dr. Amanda Graham on social network and health research. When conducting research on model selection, I was also advised by Dr. Yingying Fan and Dr. Jinchi Lv.

My community made a hugely positive impact on my life and research. Dr. Courtney Paulson and Dr. Pallavi Basu were a joy with whom to share part of the PhD experience, while Dr. Xinghao Qiao fearlessly led the way for us all! PhD students Weinan Wang, Trambak Banerjee, and Josh Derenski have also been great company and made me very proud of our PhD program. I am also fortunate to be here with our newest PhD students, Brad Rava, Simone Shao, and Patrick Vossler, who greatly add to the community. I am deeply grateful to everyone mentioned and also to PhD chair Dr. Greys Sosic, who has worked very patiently and with great sensitivity with us students. Also, decades of thanks go to my best friend Dushan Perera, who took my website design from the '90s into the 21st century.