College of Science

Mathematics Ph.D. student wins award to present at international conference


Eva Murphy, a graduate student in the Clemson University School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, will present her research at the largest gatherning of statisticians held in North America.

Murphy recently received a prestigious American Statistical Association Student Paper Award for her research that uses statistics to help investigate and address environmental problems. She will present her paper on the joint modeling of wind speed and direction at the Joint Statistical Meetings session sponsored by the environmental statistics chapter of the ASA. The ASA’s Section on Statistics and the Environment (ENVR) awarded five papers.

High visibility

“This session has high visibility at the JSM conference, providing opportunity to showcase my work along with the good research that is conducted in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Clemson,” Murphy said. “Also, it will be a great opportunity to find future collaborators.”

Murphy’s research is in an often overlooked but important problem in climate research, said Whitney Huang, assistant professor in mathematical and statistical sciences and Murphy’s adviser.

The research centers on understanding how wind speed and wind direction change under some climate scenarios.

“Constructing a joint distribution of two variables, such as wind speed and direction is often challenging since you have to account for the behavior of each variable separately and also for their interaction,” Murphy said.

Wind dynamics

The research could aid in the understanding of how wind  dynamics change under some climate scenarios. For example, Murphy’s research could aid in detecting gas seepage stemming from underground nuclear testing.

“In this case, it would be important to know where the gas is transported from,” she said.

A woman (Eva Murphy) is working on her laptop while sitting at a desk.
Eva Murphy

The JSM will be held Aug. 5-10 in Toronto. It brings together statisticians in academia, industry and government from around the world.

“It is a crucial event… It fosters knowledge exchange, collaboration, career development and recognition,” Huang said. “It’s a great platform where early-career statisticians can learn and interact with senior members of the profession.”


Huang said the award recognizes Murphy’s accomplishments at Clemson.

“She is an exceptional graduate student, excelling academically and actively engaging in education and outreach,” Huang said.

Murphy said the opportunity proves that her work has a significant chance of improving the world.

“Winning such an award means that a prestigious group of environmental statisticians felt my work can help investigate an environmental problem, which makes me proud and humbled,” she said. “I couldn’t have won this award without the guidance and encouragement of my adviser. His wisdom and knowledge in the field have helped me complete award-winning work.”

Murphy has presented at numerous conferences and was the recipient of Dr. Kenyon Fairey Annual Doctoral Fellowship.

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