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Statistics Symposium in Memory of Wen-Chen Chen

Poster : events_1_306210610463192224.pdf

July 1 - 2, 2021

Online, Online Conference
Chin-Tsang Chiang (National Taiwan University)
Naihua Duan (Columbia University)
Su-Yun Huang (Academia Sinica)
Chii-Ruey Hwang (Academia Sinica)
Wen-Han Hwang (National Chung Hsing University)
Ching-Kang Ing (National Tsing Hua University)

Aim & Scope:

Dr. Wen-Chen Chen, Assistant Professor of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, died at the young age of 31 in Taipei, Taiwan, at the dawn of his promising career. The Statistics Symposium in Memory of Wen-Chen Chen will be held on July 1-July 2, 2021, at National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. This Symposium is organized by Department of Mathematics, National Taiwan University, NTU Math Alumni Association, and sponsored by the National Center for Theoretical Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan, the Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, and the Department of Statistics and Data Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. 

Plenary speaker

Anne Chao (National Tsing Hua University)


Invited Speakers

Lu-Hung Chen (National Chung-Hsing University)

May-Ru Chen (National Sun Yat-sen University)

Chun-Huo Chiu (National Taiwan University)

Joel Greenhouse (Carnegie Mellon University)

Hung-Chi Ho (China Medical University)

Chia-Hui Huang (National Chengchi University)

Joseph Kadane (Carnegie Mellon University)

Liza Levina (University of Michigan)

Chien-Yu Peng (Academia Sinica)

Shao-Hsuan Wang (National Central University)

Han-Ming Wu (National Taipei University)


Video Link:


10:00-10:30 Opening:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7cWSCybqHI

10:40-11:40 Plenary Talk Professor Anne Chao:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnxMul8Lxzk

13:00-13:30 Professor Chien-Yu Peng Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLx80_j1r7Q

13:30-14:00 Professor Han-Ming Wu Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfAfjRkJfBo

14:10-14:40 Professor Chia-Hui Huang Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzzAw2ZEYSI

14:40-15:10 Professor Hung-Chi Ho Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_LCSbv7Fwk


13:00-13:30 Professor Chun-Huo Chiu:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTt_pImZ_k

13:30-14:00 Professor Lu-Hung Chen:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekHDvW8bPvA

14:10-14:40 Professor May-Ru Chen:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt2QY_Z253E

14:40-15:10 Professor Shao-Hsuan Wang:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng1L6S25Cvw


Agenda with Title & Abstract: (please click here to download)


Brief Professional Biography for Professor Wen-Chen Chen

The late professor Wen-Chen Chen graduated from the Department of Mathematics in the National Taiwan University in 1972 with a bachelor degree.  He then went to the Statistics Department in the University of Michigan, and earned his Ph.D. in Statistics in three years.  His thesis advisor, Bruce Hill, one of the leading maestros in the statistics profession, complimented Wen-Chen: “He was an outstanding student – the best that I’d seen in statistics in 21 years.”  Wen-Chen then joined the faculty in the Department of Statistics (renamed the Department of Statistics and Data Science in 2017) at Carnegie Mellon University.  His research interests were primarily statistical inference, sequential analysis, and statistical analysis of clinical trials. “We were good friends. He was a cheerful part of our small group,” Prof. Bill Eddy recalled.

At Carnegie Mellon, Wen-Chen was full of energy and originality.  Within three years, he produced five research papers, with the first four published in leading statistics journals.  The fifth paper was presented postmortem by his colleagues at University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon during the Second Valencia International Meeting on Bayesian Statistics, September 6-10, 1983, then published in the Proceedings of the Meeting in 1985, with a note “This article is dedicated to the memory of the late Wen-Chen Chen” to express his colleagues’ appreciation of Wen-Chen’s contributions.

Within three years at Carnegie Mellon, Wen-Chen’s professional life was blossoming. He and Jay Kadane, the department chair, were starting to do research in quality control, and Wen-Chen planned an ambitious summer research program. Before undertaking the latter, he and his wife returned to Taiwan to visit their families and show off their new son.

Unfortunately Wen-Chen’s promising career was cut short abruptly during this trip to Taiwan.  During this trip, he was detained by military police and taken to the then Taiwan Garrison Command (which was later disbanded in 1992) for interrogation on July 2, 1981.  He was found dead the next morning, on July 3, 1981 on the grounds of his alma mater, the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. 

The truth is not yet known exactly what happened from July 2 to July 3, 1981 that led to Wen-Chen’s tragic death.  But it is certain that the statistics profession has lost one of her precious talents in this tragic event. 

Wen-Chen’s alma mater, the National Taiwan University, dedicated the “Dr Chen Wen-chen Incident Memorial Square” on February 2, 2021, at the location on the campus where his body was found in the morning of July 3, 1981.  For further details on this memorial square and its dedication, please see the news article https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2021/02/03/2003751667.

For further details on Wen-Chen’s professional career, please see his biography on Carnegie Mellon’s website, http://www.stat.cmu.edu/fifty/wen-chen-chen, composed by his colleagues in the Statistics Department during their celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the Department in 2016, as they highlighted “our outstanding faculty and alumni of the past half-century.”  They concluded as follows:

"Today, Wen-chen is remembered by those who were here during his brief tenure in the Dept. of Statistics as a smart, cheerful, and likeable young man with a warm smile whose promising future was cut tragically short. What might have been, is a common refrain."



Wen-Chen Chen (1980) On the weak form of Zipf's law.  Journal of Applied Probability, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Sep., 1980), pp. 611-622.

Wen-chen Chen and Norman Starr (1980) Optimal stopping in an urn.  Annals of Probability, Vol. 8, No. 3 (1980), pp. 451-464.

Wen Chen Chen (1981) Some local limit theorems in the symmetric Dirichlet-multinomial urn models. Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Vol. 33, No. 1 (December 1981), pp 405-415.

Wen-Chen Chen (1981) Limit theorems for general size distributions.  Journal of Applied Probability, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Mar., 1981), pp. 139-147.

W. C. Chen, B. M. Hill, J. B. Greenhouse and J. V. Fayos (1985) Bayesian Analysis of Survival Curves for Cancer Patients Following Treatment (with Discussions). In "Bayesian Statistics 2: Proceedings of the Second Valencia International Meeting: September 6/10, 1983" (J. M. Bernardo, M. H. DeGroot, D. V. Lindley and A. F. M. Smith, Eds.), Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1985, pp. 299-328.

Organized by

Department of Mathematics, National Taiwan University, NTU Math Alumni Association

Sponsored by

Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica

National Center for Theoretical Sciences

The Department of Statistics and Data Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA






















































Contact: Peggy Lee (peggylee@ncts.tw)

Poster: events_1_306210610463192224.pdf

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