Xiaodong Li, assistant professor of statistics in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, has received a prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program supports junior faculty who perform outstanding research, are excellent educators, and integrate outreach in their work.
Li’s research will investigate new statistical methods for unsupervised learning, a type of machine learning technique for finding patterns in large, complicated data sets. Unsupervised learning is widely used in online applications such as searches, recommendations and advertising, as well as managing complex networks such as power grids. The research project will focus on nonconvex optimization algorithms and develop a new platform for collaboration across fields such as statistics, mathematics and computer science.
Li joined the Department of Statistics in 2015. He earned his doctorate in mathematics at Stanford University and was a postdoc at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
— Becky Oskin, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science