Ph.D., Data Science: Jiahao Tian Successfully Defends Dissertation

January 24, 2024
Ph.D. in Data Science Dissertation Defense

Jiahao Tian was set to receive a Ph.D. in data science from the University of Virginia following a successful dissertation defense.

Prior to coming to UVA, Tian, who has a background in statistics, received a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University.  

Tian presented his dissertation before a committee comprised of Jeffrey Blume, the committee chair and the Quantitative Foundation Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs in Data Science; Michael Porter, an associate professor who holds a dual appointment with the School of Data Science and UVA’s School of Engineering; Jon Kropko, an associate professor of data science; Bill Basener, a professor of data science; and Negin Alemazkoor, an assistant professor with the School of Engineering.  

During a roughly hour-long talk, Tian presented his dissertation on how to handle ambiguity with interval-censored events, which was the product of three published papers relating to the topic.  

“The reason why we do this research is that most statistical machine learning methods assume that the data are exactly observed,” Tian explained early in his presentation.  

Tian laid out his findings and research, occasionally fielding questions from committee members to clarify certain points or methods. He would later face more extensive questioning from faculty in a closed session.  

 There are now around two dozen students pursuing a Ph.D. at UVA's School of Data Science, which formed in 2019 — each working toward the goal that Tian just achieved.   


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