Tianjian Zhou


My name is Tianjian Zhou. I am a Postdoctoral Scholar at The University of Chicago, under the supervision of Dr. Yuan Ji.

Previously, I have worked at NorthShore University HealthSystem at Evanston, IL as a Postdoc Fellow.

I obtained my Ph.D. in Statistics from the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences in The University of Texas at Austin. My advisor was Dr. Peter Mueller.

Before that, I obtained my B.S. in Statistics from the Special Class for the Gifted Young in University of Science and Technology of China.

What is the Special Class for the Gifted Young? As an example, I entered the program at age 14, obtained my B.S. at age 18 and obtained my Ph.D. at age 22.

More fun facts of me can be found at our department's spotlight page.

I like singing and taking photos. (Photos.)


My current research mainly focuses on the development of nonparametric Bayesian models, corresponding Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms, and applications to inference for biomedical data analysis. My research mainly includes 5 topics (and several spin-offs).

1. Statistical Genomics

I work mainly on tumor heterogeneity problem (details). I work jointly with my advisor, Dr. Peter Mueller, and Drs. Subhajit Sengupta and Yuan Ji at NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute & Department of Health Studies, The University of Chicago on this topic. Our work was reported by the University of Chicago Beagle December 2017 Newsletter.

(Working) Papers & Software packages:

2. Missing Data

In particular, I work on missing data in longitudinal studies (details). I work jointly with Dr. Michael Daniels at Department of Statistics and Data Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin on this topic.


  • A Nonparametric Bayesian Approach to Dropout in Longitudinal Studies with Auxiliary Covariates. Revision submitted to JCGS .

3. Clinical Trial Design

I work with Dr. Yuan Ji on this topic. Currently I am implementing subgroup-based adaptive (SUBA) designs (writing and maintaining software packages) for real clinical trials which are being conducted in NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Discussion paper:

  • Discussion of “A Hybrid Phase I-II/III Clinical Trial Design Allowing Dose Re-Optimization in Phase III” by A. Chapple and P. Thall. Biometrics (to appear).

Papers in preparation:

  • Subgroup-Based Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial. (SUBA-SMART)

4. Nonparametric Bayes Theory

I work jointly with Tong Li, Kam-Wah Tsui, Yuan Ji on this topic. And thanks to Lin Wei who has provided us the proteomics dataset example.


  • Posterior Contraction Rate of Sparse Latent Feature Models with Application to Proteomics. Submitted to Bayesian Analysis.

5. Spatial Statistics

In particular, I work on Bayesian spatial inference on Inca Khipu (details). I work jointly with Anastasiya Travina, a Master student at UT Austin, and my advisor, Dr. Peter Mueller, on this topic.

(Working) Papers:

  • Khipu, Provenance and Control: A Bayesian Approach to Understanding the Inca Cultural Imperialism. To be submitted to The American Statistician. Media report by The Texas Scientist (or this link). Presented at 35th NECAAAE and JSM 2017.

6. Model Combination/Model Selection/Variable Selection

Personal interest.

Discussion Paper:

  • Discussion of “Using Stacking to Average Bayesian Predictive Distributions” by Y. Yao, A. Vehtari, D. Simpson and A. Gelman. Bayesian Analysis.


Bayesian Nonparametric Models for Biomedical Data Analysis. (arXiv) (UT Austin library link)

Other research interests

I am interested in a much larger range of topics, including Bayesian nonparametrics in machine learning, big data and scalable algorithms, variable selection, dynamic models, spatial statistics, clinical trials, causal inference, and much more.


Proficient in R.

Knowledgeable in Python, SQL, Matlab, C/C++, JAVA, HTML, Mathematica, SAS and WinBUGS.

Familiar with Unix/Linux environment.


ASA member, ENAR member.


tjzhou at utexas dot edu tjzhou95 at gmail dot com

Research Institute

NorthShore University HealthSystem

1001 University Pl

Evanston, IL 60201