Nov 18, 2014

IMS Members receive ASA awards

Sastry Pantula receives ASA Founders’ Award

The American Statistical Association (ASA) presented Sastry G. Pantula, Oregon State University, with its prestigious Founders Award, along with James Cochran and Christine Franklin, at the JSM in Boston in August 2014. The honor, presented annually to ASA members who have rendered distinguished and long-term service to the association, was for “bold, sustained and visionary leadership of the statistics profession in many different capacities: first, as an architect and steward of the success of the department of statistics at North Carolina State University; second, as the president of the ASA in 2010, with signal achievements in raising the visibility and impact of our field and numerous other contributions to the association; third, as the first statistician to serve as the director of the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation; and fourth, as a dean at Oregon State University, nurturing a new wave of collaborative interdisciplinary statistical science.”

Madan L. Puri receives Wilks Award

The Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Award honors the memory and distinguished career of Sam Wilks by recognizing outstanding contributions to statistics that carry on the spirit of his work. The 2014 honoree is IMS Fellow Madan L. Puri of Indiana University, who was honored for his contributions to the development and widespread use of nonparametric statistical methods. Puri has published extensively: he is the coauthor of two books on nonparametric methods, both with P.K. Sen; co-editor of 11 volumes; and author of more than 250 papers. He is well-known to statisticians for his highly influential work on rank-based models, and to probabilists for his seminal work on fuzzy systems and fuzzy random variables in which he elevated the subject from what had been largely ad-hoc methods to a rigorous level of mathematical sophistication. His work has been profoundly important and had a substantial impact on current research. He loves to collaborate with others—he has collaborated in research articles with nearly 100 people from 26 countries across five continents.

Gottfried E. Noether Awards presented to Arnab Maity and Ray Carroll

The two Noether Awards were established in memory of Gottfried Emanuel Noether. The awards recognize distinguished researchers and teachers and support research in nonparametric statistics.
The 2014 Noether Young Researcher Award honoree is Arnab Maity of North Carolina State University, who is honored for outstanding early-career contributions to nonparametric statistics. Maity’s main research focus is developing rigorous procedures for statistical estimation and hypothesis testing in nonparametric and semiparametric regression models with applications to a wide variety of scientific fields such as genetics and genomics, nutrition, neurological studies and hydrology. Maity not only developed novel statistical procedures to answer important scientific questions of practical interest, but also investigated the theoretical properties of such procedures. This allows the user of such techniques to determine which method to use in practical situations.
The 2014 Noether Senior Scholar Award honoree is IMS Fellow Raymond J. Carroll, Texas A&M University, for outstanding contributions to the theory, application and teaching of nonparametric statistics. His first nonparametric paper, on estimating variability across individuals, appeared in 1982, and he maintains an active interest in understanding what factors affect variation. His main current application interest revolves around nutrition, working on questions such as what is the percentage of US children who have alarmingly bad overall diets and how does an overall long-term pattern of healthy eating influence the risk of colon cancer? The key statistical issue is that diet is only measured by short-term instruments such as a 24-hour recall, so we have no way to measure long-term patterns of intakes, and only glimpses of them. This gives rise to the measurement error problem, particularly the nonparametric inverse problem called deconvolution. Carroll and colleagues Len Stefanski and Peter Hall developed the first nonparametric ways to answer the basic questions raised previously. Carroll’s work in the area has extended over 25 years and two books. His methods are novel, practical and influential.

W.J. Dixon Award for Frank Harrell

This award, for outstanding contributions to the practice of statistical consulting, was given to Frank E. Harrell Jr. of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Harrell has established a distinguished career as a consultative collaborative biostatistician in academics, in the pharmaceutical industry and with medical device companies. He has devoted his career to studying patient outcomes in general and specifically to the development of accurate prognostic and diagnostic statistical models.

Outstanding Statistical Application Award

The 2014 honorees are Christopher Bilder, Univ. Nebraska-Lincoln; Christopher S. McMahan, Clemson Univ.; and Joshua M. Tebbs, Univ. South Carolina, for their seminal work on classification and estimation for multiple infections in group-testing procedures. Their winning paper, “Two-Stage Hierarchical Group Testing for Multiple Infections with Application to the Infertility Prevention Project,” was published in Biometrics (69, 4, 1064–1073, Dec 2013).

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