Reka Howard

Department of Statistics Agronomy
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011 USA
howardr@iastate.edu

Citizenship

USA

Education

  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

    Ph.D. in Statistics and Plant Breeding                                (Expected Fall 2015)
    Advisors: Dr. Alicia Carriquiry and Dr. William Beavis
    Dissertation: "Statistical Evaluation and Optimization of Genomic Selection Methods"

  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

    M.S. in Statistics                                                                       (2008)
    Advisor: Dr.Cindy Yu
    Creative Component: Statistical estimation of return dynamics using Markov Chain Monte Carlo Method

  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

    B.S. in Statistics and Mathematics                                       (2006)


Professional Experience

  • Research Assistant    Department of Agronomy    Summer 2009-Present
  •                                            Iowa State University, Ames, IA
    Project : Statistical Tools in Plant Breeding
    Supervisor : Dr. William Beavis and Dr. Alicia Carriquiry
    Conducted research on parametric and nonparametric statistical methods used for genome wide selection in plant breeding systems, GWAS, QTL detection methods with a focus on using Bayesian methods. Assisted Dr. Beavis in assessment of model systems for plant breeding including Arabidop- sis thaliana, Brassica rapa, and Mimulus guttatus. Helped develop R code for analyzing molecular data, conducted GWAS and GS in a structured population of soybeans. Participated in the devel- opment of MSc curriculum in Cultivar Development for Africa supported by the Gate's Foundation.

  • Statistical Researcher    Student Financial Aid Office   Summer 2007
  •                                                 Iowa State University, Ames, IA
    Project : Financial Literacy on Campus Survey
    Supervisor : Gregory R. Forbes
    Analyzed survey data on Financial literacy conducted on ISU undergraduate students. Applied ANOVA to compare the knowledge of undergraduate students from different colleges on Financial aid.

  • Lab Assistant                  Department of Agronomy   2005 - 2006
  •                                              Iowa State University, Ames, IA
    Supervisor: Dr. Kendall Lamkey
    Participated the day to day activities of a corn breeding program activities included planting, plot maintenance, pollination, data collection and organization, hand harvesting and shelling.

  • Computational Genetics Intern Breeding Technologies Group   Summer 2010-Fall 2010
  •                                              DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, IA
    Supervisor: Dr. Radu Totir
    Gained practical knowledge about the use of statistical methods, algorithms and software in applied plant breeding. Evaluated and provided feedback on the performance of statistical methods and algorithms used for genetic data analysis. Created intuitive numerical and graphical summaries to aid in method comparison, and summarized study results. Conducted research in marker based gene detection, genetic evaluation and prediction.


Teaching Experience

  • Introductory Mathematics classes (Tutor for the Academic Success Center at ISU, 2005 - 2006)
  • STAT 495 Applied Statistics for Industry I (Grader, Fall 2006)
  • STAT 328 Applied Business Statistics for MBA Students (Lab Assistant, Fall 2006)
  • STAT 101 Introduction to Statistics (Lab Assistant, Spring 2007)
  • STAT 226 Introduction to Business Statistics (Grader, Spring 2007)
  • STAT 528 Applied Business Statistics for MBA Students (Lab Assistant, Summer 2007)
  • STAT 101 Introduction to Statistics (Lecturer, Fall 2007)
  • STAT 226 Introduction to Business Statistics (Lecturer, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009)
  • Summer Institute for Advanced Topics in Plant Breeding: Short Course on Transforming Plant Breeding Into an Engineering Discipline (Response Surface Methodology in Plant Breeding, Summer 2015)

Poster Presentation

  • Statistical estimation of return dynamics using Markov Chain Monte Carlo method. Conference of Celebrating 75 Years of Statistics at ISU,June 2009, Iowa State Univeristy.
  • Parametric and Nonparametric Statistical Methods for Genomic Selection of Traits With Addi- tive and Epistatic Genetic Architectures. Celebrating Asheesh Singh as the Inaugural Recipient of the Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding. Jan 2014, Iowa State University.

Contributed Presentations

  • Parametric and Nonparametric Statistical Methods for Genomic Selection for Epistatic Genetic Architecture. Dec 2013, International Sweet Corn Development Association (ISCDA) and the Corn Breeding Research (CBR NCCC167) Meeting, Chicago.
  • Implementation of Parametric and Nonparametric Models for Genomic Assisted Prediction in Plant Breeding. Aug 2013, Joint Statistical Meeting, Montreal, Canada.
  • Implementation of Parametric and Nonparametric Models for Genomic Assisted Prediction in Plant Breeding. May 2012, Eucarpia General Congress, Budapest, Hungary.
  • A Review of Parametric and Nonparametric Models for Genomic Assisted Prediction in Plant Breeding. Nov 2012, Plant Breeding Seminar, Iowa State University.
  • Nonparametric Models for Genomic Selection in Plant Breeding. Apr 2014, Class presentation in Agronomy 528X, Iowa State University.

Publications

  • Howard R., A. L. Carriquiry, W. D. Beavis, 2014 Parametric and Nonparametric Statistical Methods for Genomic Selection of Traits with Additive and Epistatic Genetic Architectures. G3 4 : 1027 􀀀 1046.
  • Response Surface Methodology in Genomic Selection - In progress

Accomplishments

  • Recipient of the Josef F. Schuler Fellowship at Iowa State University - January 2012
  • Recipient of the Pioneer Hi-Bred internship grand award - December 2010
  • Recipient of the Marian Daniells Scholarship in Mathematics at Iowa State University - Spring
    2005
  • Deans list at Iowa State University 2004-2006
  • Dean's list at Des Moines Area Community College - 2004
  • German intermediate language certificate from the Goethe Institute in Budapest, Hungary -
    1999

Technical Skills

  • Programming/Development: R and JMP. Some knowledge of SAS, MATLAB, ASReml-R.
  • Applications: LATEX and Microsoft Office. Some knowledge of Join Map, Gusek.