A-Z Index

Midwest Math and Stats Student Conference


Join us for our 2021 online conference!

APRIL 30 th, 2021



Midwest Math and Stats Student Online Conference


Friday, April 30, 2021  |  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Online, register below and the conference organizers will share information with you.

Conference Zoom Link




Undergraduate class project competition. See competition rules and awards for more information. 


Use our Google Form to submit your registration

Register Here


In 2020, Northwest Missouri State University and Washburn University have combined efforts to create a math and stats conference for students. For a second year, undergraduates, graduates, and even high school students are invited to this annual event where students will associate with and learn from professionals within the mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, data science and computer science fields. This event is the original creation of students Jacob Talkin and Claire Mosier from Washburn University. Their desire to offer a forum where math and stat students, among others, can network with each other and professionals in their chosen career fields, while also having a fun, rewarding experience is what fueled their efforts to bring this conference to fruition.

Northwest Missouri State University logo Washburn Univesit logo UMKC Logo



Time Activity
8:50–9 a.m. Opening Session
Jacob Talkin and Claire Mosier
Founders, Midwest Math and Stats Student Conference
9–9:45 a.m.

“Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Statistics and Data Science the Many Career Paths”
Dr. Donna LaLonde
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach, American Statistical Association

9:45–10:30 a.m.

Master Protocols: Innovations in Clinical Trial Design
Dr. Ben Saville
Director & Senior Statistical Scientist, Berry Consultants

10:30–11:15 a.m.

“The Healthcare Crystal Ball”
Andrea Huckaba Rome
Vice President, Consulting Actuary, Lewis and Ellis

11:15 a.m.–12 p.m. "A Career as an Actuary"
Jeremy Benson
Assistant Vice President of Actuarial Modeling & Analysis, Sun Life
12–1 p.m. Break
1–2 p.m. "Graduate School to Industry: The Perspective of an Early-Career Statistician"
Luke Settles
Statistician, Bayer Crop Science
2–2:45 p.m. "Necessary but Not Sufficient: Beyond Hard Skills"
Dr. Anthony Mancuso
Director, Global Head of Risk Modeling and Decisioning Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions (RQS), SAS Institute
2:45–3:30 p.m. "Deploying Data Science Project Into Production"
Rami Krispin
Data Science Manager
3:30–4:30 p.m. "The Seven Deadly Sins of Data Science"
Dr. Richard De Veaux
C. Carlisle and Margaret Tippit Professor of Statistics Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Williams College
4:30 p.m. Announce the class project competition winners

Undergraduate Class Project Competition

We are happy to announce the undergraduate class project competition (mathematics and statistics). The purpose of this competition is for the undergraduate students to improve their skills and showcase their accomplishments. The submission deadline is April 26, 2021.

General rules:

  • A student has to be an undergraduate student in a college currently.
  • The project can be done individually or as a group (Or as part of the requirement for a class).
  • A student or a group can submit only one project.
  • The project is to be typeset with double spacing in 12-point font and submitted in pdf format. References should be cited within the paper at the appropriate places and a complete bibliography should be provided.
  • Send one copy of the pdf file to by midnight on April 26, 2021.

A committee made up of professionals will review and rank the projects. Judging will be based on three areas: correctness, creativity, and organization. There are cash prizes for the first three places in each category (mathematics and statistics).

  • First Place: $400
  • Second Place: $250
  • Third Place: $100

Prize money will be delivered to the winners by mail within a month of the submission deadline. All who participated will receive a certificate of participation.

Sponsored by:

Northwest Missouri State University logo ASA logo



Richard De Veaux, Ph.D.
C. Carlisle and Margaret Tippit Professor of Statistics Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Williams College

Richard De Veaux

Richard De Veaux, Ph.D. (Dick) is C. Carlise and Margaret Tippit Professor of Statistics and currently the Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College.  He holds degrees in Civil Engineering (B.S.E. Princeton), Mathematics (A.B. Princeton), Dance Education (M.A.) and Statistics (Ph.D.) at Stanford where he studied statistics with Persi Diaconis and dance with Inga Weiss.

Dick has taught at the Wharton School and the Engineering School at Princeton and has been a visiting researcher at INRA in Montpellier and a visiting professor at Paris V. De Veaux has won numerous teaching awards from the Engineering Council at Princeton.  He has won both the Wilcoxon and Shewell (twice) awards from the American Society for Quality, is a fellow of the American Statistical Assoc (ASA) and an elected member of the ISI.  In 2006-2007 he was the William R. Kenan Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. In 2008 he was named the Statistician of the Year by the Boston Chapter of the ASA. He has served on the Board of Directors of the ASA and is past chair of the Section on Statistical Learning and Data Science. He is the ASA Vice President for the term 2019-2021.

Dick has been a consultant for nearly 30 years for such Fortune 500 companies as Hewlett-Packard, Alcoa, American Express, Bank One, GlaxoSmithKline, Dupont, Pillsbury, SanofiPasteur and General Electric. He holds two U.S. patents and is the author of more than 40  refereed journal articles. He once helped Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead with the question “How many drummers are there in the world” and for that he is know as the “Official Statistician of the Grateful Dead”. He is the co-author, with Paul Velleman and David Bock, of the critically acclaimed textbooks “Intro Stats”, “Stats: Modeling the World” and “Stats: Data and Models” and with Norean Sharpe and Paul Velleman of “Business Statistics” , and “Business Statistics: A First Course”,  all published by Pearson.

 His hobbies include cycling, swimming, singing  -- and dancing (he was once a professional dancer and taught Modern Dance during Winter Study at Williams). He has been a member of the regional choir of Paris (Choeur Vittoria -- since 2005.  He also teaches a Winter Study course called “The history, geography and economics of the wines of France”. He is the father of four: two boys and two girls.

Anthony Mancuso, PhD
Director, Global Head of Risk Modeling and Decisioning Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions (RQS), SAS Institute

Anthony Mancuso

Anthony Mancuso is Global Head of Risk Modeling and Decisioning in the RQS division of SAS. In that capacity, he has ultimate responsibility for market strategy, product requirements, project implementation, and advisory consulting for all Risk solutions relating to model development, deployment, modeling and governance. In addition, he works closely with internal and external colleagues to develop product pipeline, support presales activities, and provide training and knowledge transfer. An experienced and polished speaker, he possesses the ability to communicate complicated ideas to a variety of audiences – from laypersons to experts – in multiple contexts.

Anthony has worked at SAS since 2003 in a variety of roles. Initially an educator for risk solutions and econometrics, he moved to Research and Development, where he became a technical lead and development manager. Moving to a customer-facing role, Anthony participated in and led multiple projects around the globe, including model development and calibration, stress testing, market risk, IFRS9/CECL, and IFRS17. In general, his experience spans credit risk, stress testing, ALM, regulatory capital, and general risk analytics.

Anthony has a Masters in Statistics and PhD in Economics (econometrics concentration), both from North Carolina State University.

Rami Krispin Rami Krispin
Data Science Manager

Rami Krispin is a data science manager and an open-source contributor that focuses on time series analysis and forecasting. He is the author of "Hands-On Time Series Analysis with R" and several R packages, including the TSstudio package for time series analysis and forecasting applications. More details available at

Andrea Huckaba Rome Andrea Huckaba Rome
Vice President, Consulting Actuary, Lewis and Ellis

Andrea Huckaba Rome, FSA, MAAA, CERA, is a Vice President in the Kansas City office.  Andrea graduated from Kansas State University with degrees in Mathematics and Theatre in 2008. She began her career in 2010, in the actuarial department at a regional Blues Plan. She gained experience in the areas of pricing, reserving, experience studies, ACA implementation, competitive studies, rate filings, ERM structure and ORSA Reports.  In 2015, she joined Lewis & Ellis as a Health consultant. In 2018, she participated in the SOA's Predictive Analytics Certification Program, and earned her certificate. She focuses on pricing, regulatory analysis, data analytics including machine learning, and model building for clients of all sizes.

Jeremy Benson
Assistant Vice President of Actuarial Modeling & Analysis, Sun Life

Jeremy Benson

Jeremy Benson joined Sun Life in 2018 as Assistant Vice President of Actuarial Modeling and Analysis. In this role, Jeremy supports Stop Loss and FullscopeRMS business units with actuarial modeling, financial planning and business development including mergers & acquisitions (M&A).

Jeremy has more than 24 years of experience in the insurance industry. Previous to joining Sun Life, he worked at Willis Towers Watson as a Director in Healthcare where he was responsible for the development and marketing of the HealthMAPS pricing manuals.  In addition, Jeremy supported clients with loss reserving, pricing, rate filing and M&A work.  Prior to Willis Towers Watson, Jeremy was the lead pricing actuary for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Accident & Health team where he was responsible for the pricing of stop loss, provider excess and medical reinsurance lines of business.

While most of Jeremy’s career has concentrated on the pricing side, he has developed expertise in financial modeling, reserving, valuation, data management and reporting.  He has experience in personal and commercial lines property and casualty in addition to group life and health, including reinsurance.

Jeremy is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.  He received his MS in Economics and Statistics from Iowa State University and his BS in Mathematics from Missouri Western State University.

Ben Saville, PhD
Director & Senior Statistical Scientist, Berry Consultants

Mugshot of Ben SavilleBen Saville, Ph.D., is a Director & Senior Statistical Scientist for Berry Consultants, where he specializes in the design of innovative Bayesian adaptive clinical trials.  He works primarily with medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies, and academic investigators to solve challenging problems via Bayesian designs, many of which are reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  He has designed Bayesian clinical trials in a variety of therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular diseases, rare and progressive diseases, infectious diseases, traumatic brain injury, respiratory and digestive disorders, and cancer.  Dr. Saville is a frequent invited speaker at statistical conferences, academic seminars, and lecture series, including short courses on Bayesian adaptive clinical trial design.  He earned his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008.  Prior to joining Berry Consultants in 2014, Dr. Saville was an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Vanderbilt University, where he collaborated with medical researchers in the Department of Pediatrics and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and taught biostatistics courses to both undergraduate and graduate students.  Dr. Saville has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications in the statistical and medical literature, with expertise in Bayesian hierarchical models, Bayesian adaptive platform trial designs, and nonparametric methods for randomized clinical trials.

Donna LaLonde, PhD
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach, American Statistical Association

Donna LaLonde

Donna LaLonde is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach at the American Statistical Association (ASA) where she works with talented colleagues to advance the vision and mission of the ASA. Prior to joining the ASA in 2015, she was a faculty member at Washburn University where she enjoyed teaching and learning with colleagues and students; she also served in various administrative positions including interim chair of the Education Department and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. At the ASA, she supports activities associated with presidential initiatives, accreditation, education, and professional development.

Luke Settles

Luke Settles
Statistician, Bayer Crop Science

Luke Settles is a statistician in research and development at Bayer Crop Science. He is responsible for the design, analysis, and interpretation of key product characterization, safety, and efficacy data. Prior to joining Bayer in 2020, he supported global parenteral drug product manufacturing at Eli Lilly and Company. Luke completed an MS in Statistics at Missouri S&T in 2017 and holds a BS in Applied Mathematics and a BA in Spanish from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.



Jacob Talkin

Jacob Talkin & Claire Mosier
Co-founders, Midwest Math and Stats Student Conference


A special thank you to this year's conference organizers!

Mike Mosier

Dr. Mike Mosier
Washburn University

Abdelmonaem Jornaz

Dr. Abdelmonaem Jornaz
Northwest Missouri State University

Majid Bani-Yaghoub

Dr. Majid Bani-Yaghoub
University of Missouri-Kansas City


View the 2020 conference