Dec 15, 2011

Members’ News: January/February 2012


Itai Benjamini to be Inaugural Schramm Lecturer

As announced in the last issue, the IMS and the Bernoulli Society have recently cooperated to create a new joint lecture in probability and stochastic processes, named in honor of Oded Schramm (1961–2008). The lecture will be given annually and will be featured at meetings (co)-sponsored by the IMS or the Bernoulli Society with a strong attendance by researchers in probability and stochastic processes.

Professor Itai Benjamini, Renee and Jay Weiss Chair in the Department of Mathematics at Weizmann Institute, Israel, will deliver the inaugural Schramm Lecture. Itai, who collaborated closely over many years with Oded, said he was “very touched by the invitation.”

Itai’s Schramm Lecture will be delivered at the Stochastic Processes and their Applications meeting to be held in Boulder, Colorado, July 29 to August 2, 2013. See for more information.


Symposium honours Johan Fellman

To honour Professor Johan Fellman on his 80th birthday, a symposium was arranged on November 25, 2011, at Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland. The program comprised: Professor Gunnar Rosenqvist (Hanken School of Economics, Finland): Introduction; Professor Kenneth Nordström (University of Oulu, Finland): Convexity of the Inverse and Moore-Penrose Inverse; and Professor Katarina Juselius (University of Copenhagen. Denmark): On the Role of Theory and Evidence in Macro Economics.



New Society for Non-Parametric Statistics

The International Society for Non-Parametric Statistics (ISNPS) was founded in 2010 by three IMS Fellows, M.G. Akritas, S.N. Lahiri, and D.N. Politis, with a mission, “to foster the research and practice of nonparametric statistics, and to promote the dissemination of new developments in the field via conferences, books and journal publications.”

ISNPS has a distinguished Advisory Committee that includes R. Beran, P. Bickel, R. Carroll, D. Cook, P. Hall, W. Hardle, R. Johnson, B. Lindsay, E. Parzen, P. Robinson, M. Rosenblatt, G. Roussas, T. SubbaRao, and G. Wahba, as well as a Charting Committee consisting of over 50 prominent researchers from all over the world. The nature of ISNPS is uniquely global, and its international conferences are designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and latest advances among researchers from all around the world in cooperation with established statistical societies such as IMS and the ISI.

The First Conference of ISNPS is scheduled to take place in Chalkidiki, Northern Greece, June 15–19, 2012, and is co-sponsored by IMS and ISI: see for more details. IMS members who are interested in the new society and/or its first conference may contact ISNPS at


New Managing Editor for EJP/ECP

There is a new Managing Editor for the joint IMS-Bernoulli Society journals Electronic Journal of Probability and Electronic Communications in Probability. Djalil Chafaï takes over from Philippe Carmona for three years. Papers can be accessed at


NISS receives five-year grant from NSF for Triangle Census Research Network

The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) and Duke University have received a grant from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Census Bureau for the Triangle Census Research Network (TCRN). The award, one of eight nationwide under the NSF-Census Research Nodes program, is for nearly $3 million and covers a five-year period. Jerome Reiter (who is the Mrs. Alexander Hehmeyer Associate Professor of Statistical Science at Duke University) is principal investigator (PI) on the project; Alan Karr (director of NISS) is the co-PI.

The grant will be used to improve how federal statistical (“FedStats”) agencies disseminate data to the public and to researchers. Specifically, the TCRN will enhance FedStats agencies’ capabilities by developing broadly-applicable methodologies in three interrelated areas: (i) disseminating public use data with high utility and acceptable disclosure risk, (ii) handling missing data and correcting faulty data in large complex surveys, and (iii) integrating information from multiple data sources. The TCRN will also offer educational opportunities to postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and statisticians at federal agencies, helping to train future leaders in data dissemination research and practice.

The FedStats agencies collect data of all kinds that affect many people, including the decennial census, unemployment numbers and the Consumer Price Index. NISS has been and is in collaboration with many of these agencies, including (in addition to the Census Bureau) the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Energy Information Administration, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Center for Health Statistics. Among NISS’s achievements are methods used nationally to produce high school graduation rates and crop forecasts, as well as a plethora of techniques and tools that support dissemination of high quality information derived from confidential data.

By building on these achievements as well as creating new theory and methodology applicable to major Census Bureau data products, the TCRN’s research will improve the hundreds of secondary analyses of these datasets. The interdisciplinary team of the TCRN, which consists of statisticians, economists, political scientists and operations researchers, will use these data products to answer questions in aging, economics, and social welfare that have important implications for policy making.

“The TCRN will improve the way we handle missing and faulty data by integrating paradigms from statistics and operations research,” explained Karr, “The team will also develop nonparametric Bayesian approaches for multiple imputation of missing data in high dimensions with longitudinal and multi-level aspects, as well as address central issues in data integration.”


Festschrift for S. Rao Jammalamadaka

Professor S. Rao Jammalamadaka, an IMS Fellow, ISI Member and ASA Fellow, has been honored with Advances in Directional and Linear Statistics: A Festschrift for Sreenivasa Rao Jammalamadaka. This volume of papers, published by Springer-Verlag, consists of articles written by students, colleagues and collaborators from over 20 countries, and covers a variety of research topics of particular interest to him. See


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