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Meet our new faculty: Xiongtao Dai

Xiongtao Dai

  • Discipline: Biostatistics
  • Research Interests: Nonparametric statistics for longitudinal data, functional (trajectory) data, and geometrical data; and statistical applications in developmental neuroscience, kinesiology, plant genomics, and remote sensing
  • Hometown: Shenzhen, China
  • Current City: Fremont
  • Pronouns: He/Him
  • Hobbies: Hiking, running, basketball, badminton, and cooking

In July 2022, Berkeley Public Health welcomed new Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Xiongtao Dai. Dr. Dai received his PhD in statistics from UC Davis in 2018 and has BS from the University of Hong Kong. We asked him about his work and hopes for the semester.

Where did you live and work before you started at UC Berkeley School of Public Health?

I was an assistant professor of statistics at Iowa State University. My family set our home in West Des Moines, Iowa, where we welcomed our first child, Charlie, and had some fun visiting the farms nearby.

What are you currently working on?

My work has focused on statistical analysis of complex data objects, such as longitudinal data, trajectory data, distributional data like age distributions, and data with geometrical constraints like compositions and brain networks. The overall objective of my methodological research is to develop ways to efficiently represent and explain variation in these data objects. A few specific methods I have worked on include dimension reduction, statistical inference via bootstrap, and ranking observations from typical to outlying using data depth. My recent interest is to extend associative models for complex data to make causal discoveries. I work closely with collaborators on statistical applications as well. With neuroscientists at Emory University, we seek to find longitudinal brain-behavior association in young children that will help understand how autism progresses.

What are your hopes going into your first semester at UC Berkeley School of Public Health?

Get up to speed quickly and work closely with the school members here.