May 17, 2012

Members’ News: June/July 2012

New US National Academy members

The USA’s National Academy of Sciences has elected 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Among them are two IMS Fellows: Robert Tibshirani and IMS President Ruth Williams.

Robert J. Tibshirani is a professor of health research and policy at the School of Medicine, and of statistics in the School of Humanities and Sciences, at Stanford University. He has introduced innovative approaches to biostatistics and pioneered methods that have become standard in the field. Specifically, he focuses on computer-intensive methods for regression and classification, bootstrap, cross-validation and statistical inference, and signal and image analysis for medical diagnosis.

Ruth Williams is a Distinguished Professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of California, San Diego. She holds the Charles Lee Powell Chair in Mathematics. Ruth’s research interests are in probability theory, stochastic processes and their applications.

Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. The NAS membership totals approximately 2,200 members and 400 foreign associates, of whom approximately 200 have received Nobel prizes. Those elected this year bring the total number of active members to 2,152 and the total number of foreign associates to 430 (foreign associates are non-voting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States).

Thomas M. Liggett elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

IMS Fellow Tom Liggett, Professor Emeritus at University of California, Los Angeles, is among the 220 distinguished scholars, scientists, authors, artists, and business and philanthropic leaders elected this year to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments. The new fellows and 17 foreign honorary members join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers. Tom Liggett’s areas of expertise include probability theory and infinite interacting random systems. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he has been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship and has served as editor of the Annals of Probability. The list of new fellows is at

Snehalata Huzurbazar named as new Deputy Director of SAMSI

Snehalata Huzurbazar

Snehalata Huzurbazar, Associate Professor of Statistics at the University of Wyoming, has been appointed Deputy Director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) for two years, starting July 9. She will become a member of the research faculty at North Carolina State University in the Statistics Department. Richard Smith, Director of SAMSI, said, “We are very impressed with Snehalata’s background and think she will bring a fresh perspective to the development of SAMSI’s programs and will be instrumental in our education and outreach efforts.”

In her new position, Snehalata will help administer and develop SAMSI programs, be involved with education and outreach, and work on personnel issues. Snehalata received her BA degree from Grinnell College in 1984, her MA in Economics from Vanderbilt University in 1988, and her PhD in Statistics from Colorado State University in 1992. She was an assistant professor at the University of Georgia from 1992–95, and has been at the University of Wyoming since 1995. At Wyoming, she has been an affiliate of the Science and Mathematics Teaching Center since 2003. She was also an adjunct professor of Women’s Studies from 2003–08.

Snehalata spent some time at SAMSI last year as a visiting research fellow in the Analysis of Object Data program. One of the reasons she was attracted to the deputy director’s position was because SAMSI is the only National Science Foundation (NSF) institute that explicitly includes a focus on Statistics. She is particularly interested in encouraging young people to pursue careers in statistics and mathematical sciences. “Making an impact on outreach is really important to me. We often have trouble getting people into the mathematical sciences. I think we need to do a better job attracting students into mathematical sciences and inform them about various career options,” said Snehalata.
Much of her recent time has been spent building collaborations with colleagues in a variety of disciplines ranging from evolutionary bioinformatics to the geosciences. In evolutionary bioinformatics, she is working on the statistical issues surrounding the data generation pipelines. In the geosciences she works with colleagues from glaciology, sedimentology, chemical and petroleum engineering and restoration ecology.

2011 Tweedie Award presented to Hui Zou at ENAR/IMS meeting

At the ENAR/IMS meeting in Washington DC, the 2011 IMS Tweedie Award was presented to Hui Zou, University of Minnesota. The Tweedie Lecture was created in memory of Richard Tweedie to recognize an outstanding researcher within five years of receiving his or her doctoral degree. Zou delivered his lecture at ENAR (the Tweedie lecture is normally given at the IMS New Researchers Conference) on April 2.

Hui Zou (left) receives the plaque from Yi Li. Photo courtesy of Carl Lee, Central Michigan University

Festschrift for Søren Asmussen

Professor Søren Asmussen has been honoured with New Frontiers in Applied Probability: A Festschrift for Søren Asmussen, published by The Applied Probability Trust. This volume contains 28 contributions on research topics by associates and collaborators, reflecting Søren’s lifelong contributions to wide-ranging themes in applied probability.

IMS Fellow Søren Asmussen was editor of the Annals of Applied Probability (2000–02), and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Probability and Advances in Applied Probability. Amongst other awards, he received the 2010 INFORMS John von Neumann Theory Prize, and the 2011 Russian Academy of Sciences Sobolev Institute of Mathematics Gold Medal.

See and

Dimitris Politis awarded Tjalling C. Koopmans Econometric Theory Prize

IMS Bulletin Editor Dimitris Politis has been awarded the Tjalling C. Koopmans Econometric Theory Prize 2009–2011. The prize is awarded once every three years for the best article published in the journal Econometric Theory over that period. See

Ken Burnham receives Aldo Leopold Memorial Award

Ken Burnham

Kenneth P. Burnham has been awarded the US Wildlife Society’s highest honor, the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award.


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