Aug 29, 2013

Members News: September 2013

Sourav Chatterjee awarded 2013 Loève Prize

The 2013 Line and Michel Loève International Prize in Probability has been awarded to Sourav Chatterjee of the Courant Institute. The prize, which carries a monetary award of $30,000, will be presented at a ceremony in Berkeley to be held in Fall 2013.

Sourav Chatterjee received his PhD in 2005, advised by Persi Diaconis at Stanford University. His work has extraordinary breadth. On one side he has brought new ideas to bear upon classical topics—an extension of Lindeberg’s proof of the central limit theorem to an invariance principle for arbitrary smooth functions of weakly dependent random variables, a simpler proof of the famous KMT theorem on strong approximation of a random walk by Brownian motion, and a new version of Stein’s method, reducing a large class of normal approximation problems to variance bounding exercises. In other work, he has taken up Talagrand’s Challenge to Mathematicians (to give rigorous analysis of spin glass models from statistical physics) by providing analyses of random overlap structures and showing that the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model is chaotic under small perturbations of the couplings at any temperature in the absence of an external field. Other topics to which he has made substantial contributions include large deviations for random graphs and random matrices, first-passage percolation, and probabilistic methods for discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equations.

Among his other honors, Sourav received the IMS Tweedie New Researcher Award in 2008, and was a Medallion Lecturer in 2012.
The prize commemorates Michel Loève, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1948 until his untimely death in 1979. The Prize was established by his widow, Line, shortly before her death in 1992. Awarded every two years, it is intended to recognize outstanding contributions by researchers in probability who are under 45 years old.


Mitchell Prize awarded to Mike West and co-authors

The Mitchell Prize is awarded in recognition of an outstanding paper that describes how a Bayesian analysis has solved an important applied problem. The Prize is jointly sponsored by the Section on Bayesian Statistical Science (SBSS) of the ASA, the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA), and the Mitchell Prize Founders’ Committee.

Mike West, the Arts & Sciences Professor of Statistics & Decision Sciences at Duke University, received the award at JSM, with his co-author Ioanna Manolopoulou (University College London), on behalf of their co-authors Melanie Matheu, Mike Cahalan and Tom Kepler. The award was for their studies of spatio-dynamic modelling in systems biology/immunology in their 2012 JASA paper entitled “Bayesian Spatio-Dynamic Modelling in Cell Motility Studies: Learning Nonlinear Taxic Fields Guiding Immune Response.”

This 2012 award winning paper was cited, “for its sophisticated development of model-based inference methods in the expanding field of immune-cell dynamics.”


Sastry Pantula Dean of Oregon State University’s College of Science

Sastry Pantula has moved to Oregon State University as Dean of the College of Science. Sastry served on the faculty of North Carolina State University since 1982, and is a former director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences.


IMS Special Invited Lectures in 2014

Each year the IMS Committee on Special Lectures selects a number of leading statisticians and probabilists to give invited lectures at IMS sponsored and co-sponsored meetings around the world. In 2014, there will be a Wald, Neyman and Blackwell lecture, and eight Medallion lectures.

The 2014 Wald Lectures will be given by Thomas G. Kurtz, University of Wisconsin–Madison at the IMS Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Australian Statistical Conference, held July 7–10, 2014, in Sydney. At the same meeting will be a Neyman Lecture from Peter Donnelly, University of Oxford; Schramm Lecture from Terry Lyons, University of Oxford; and five Medallion Lectures, given by Nina Gantert, Technische Universität München; Martin Hairer, University of Warwick; Timo Seppäläinen, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Matthew Stephens, University of Chicago; and Harrison Zhou, Yale University.

At the WNAR/IMS meeting in Honolulu, June 15–18, 2014, there will be a Medallion Lecture from Tilmann Gneiting, Universität Heidelberg.

The 37th Conference on Stochastic Process and their Applications, in Buenos Aires (July 28–August 1, 2014) will feature a Medallion Lecture from David Nualart, University of Kansas.

Last but not least, at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston (August 2–7, 2014), there will be the inaugural Blackwell Lecture, by Gareth Roberts, University of Warwick, as well as a Medallion Lecture from Mathias Drton, University of Chicago.


Shahjahan Khan elected to Bangladesh Academy of Science

Shahjahan Khan, University of Southern Queensland, Australia, has recently been elected as an Expatriate Fellow of the Bangladesh Academy of Science, the leading scientific organization in Bangladesh and a leading representative to the government in matters of science and research.

“It’s an excellent feeling to be recognised for your work by members of the scientific community in the country of your birth,” Professor Khan said. “The academy engages with the government in the development and promotion of science within Bangladesh and the academy’s input is highly valued by the policy makers. I can also help with organising seminars, conferences and workshops such as the International Statistics Conferences that I helped organize in 2006 and 2008 in Bangladesh.”

Professor Khan has served as the President of ISOSS (2005–11), an international professional organization of statisticians, organised four international conferences in Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan and Qatar, and has served as the Founding Chief Editor of the Journal of Applied Probability and Statistics since 2006. The Bangladesh Statistical Association awarded Professor Khan their prestigious Qazi Motahar Hossain Gold Medal in 2012 in recognition of his scientific contribution and promotion of statistics.


Eswar Phadia retires

Eswar Phadia has retired from the William Paterson University of New Jersey, and joined the Department of Statistics at Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, as a Visiting Scholar. His email address is



Leave a comment



Welcome to the IMS Bulletin website! We are developing the way we communicate news and information more effectively with members. The print Bulletin is still with us (free with IMS membership), and still available as a PDF to download, but in addition, we are placing some of the news, columns and articles on this blog site, which will allow you the opportunity to interact more. We are always keen to hear from IMS members, and encourage you to write articles and reports that other IMS members would find interesting. Contact the IMS Bulletin at

What is “Open Forum”?

In the Open Forum, any IMS member can propose a topic for discussion. Email your subject and an opening paragraph (to and we'll post it to start off the discussion. Other readers can join in the debate by commenting on the post. Search other Open Forum posts by using the Open Forum category link below. Start a discussion today!

About IMS

The Institute of Mathematical Statistics is an international scholarly society devoted to the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. We have about 4,500 members around the world. Visit IMS at
Latest Issue