Jul 14, 2017

Members’ News August 2017

Peter Bühlmann receives honorary doctorate

The Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), in Belgium, has awarded Professor Peter Bühlmann with a Doctor honoris causa degree. Peter Bühlmann received the honorary doctorate for his achievements in the fields of mathematical statistics, machine learning and high-dimensional data analysis. In addition, he has also “contributed to solving pertinent problems in the application of his fundamental research to the fields of biology and bio-medicine (in particular, in genetics and bioinformatics)”.

The ceremony was part of the UCL workshop on Data Sciences held in May 2017 in Louvain-la-Neuve (https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/immaq/isba/dhc-data-sciences.html).

Peter Bühlmann is Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, and currently Chair of the Department of Mathematics, at ETH Zürich. He received his doctoral degree in mathematics in 1993 from ETHZ; after spending three years at UC Berkeley, he returned to ETHZ in 1997. His main research interests are in high-dimensional and computational statistics, machine learning, causal inference and applications in the bio-medical field. He has been a highly cited researcher in mathematics in the last few years.

Peter Bühlmann is a Fellow of IMS and ASA, and a recipient of several awards, including the Winton Research Prize. He served as Co-editor of the Annals of Statistics (2010–12), and has guided 29 doctoral students, to date.

Donald Rubin receives honors

Donald B. Rubin, the John L. Loeb Professor of Statistics at Harvard University, has received several awards this year. He won the 2017 Rao Prize for Outstanding Research in Statistics ( the last winner was David Cox in 2015); the 2017 Waksberg Prize for Contributions to Survey Methodology; and the 2017 ISI Karl Pearson Prize, shared with Roderick Little for their book on missing data, fist published in 1987. In January he received an Honorary Degree (his fourth) from the Medical Faculty at Uppsala University, Sweden; and will shortly receive one from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (the first three are from Bamberg University, Germany, the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Santo Tomas University, Columbia).

SIAM Fellow Emmanuel Candès

Among the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) 2017 SIAM Fellows is Emmanuel Candès, Stanford University. The 28 Fellows were nominated for their exemplary research as well as outstanding service to the community. Emmanuel’s citation reads: For pioneering work in mathematics of information, compressive sensing, computational harmonic analysis, statistics, and scientific computing.

See https://sinews.siam.org/Details-Page/siam-announces-class-of-2017-fellows

Jeff Wu receives 2017 ENBIS Box Medal Award for Achievements in Statistics

Professor Jeff Wu, Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics, has received the 2017 Box Medal Award from ENBIS, the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics.

The Box Medal is named after George Box, the late British–American statistician who is considered one of the greatest statistical minds of our time. Box was extremely influential on Wu’s work during his formative years as a young academic at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where Box was also a professor. In a 2015 interview with Hugh Chapman and Roshan Joseph, Wu said Box was “a great scholar and a great lecturer. His opinions and passion for work were contagious … I respected him a lot.”

The ENBIS press release announcing Wu as this year’s Box Medal recipient stated that “with the medal, the link between two great statisticians is strengthened even further.” The press release also noted that Wu was chosen for his many contributions to the study of statistics, as well as “his ability to clearly explain complex concepts … and for systematically passing on his knowledge.” Wu has supervised 45 PhD students, many of whom are active researchers in the statistical sciences.

Jeff Wu will accept the Box Medal, and deliver a keynote speech, at the ENBIS conference, held from September 9–14, 2017, in Naples, Italy. See https://www.isye.gatech.edu/news/isye-professor-jeff-wu-receives-2017-enbis-box-medal-award-achievements-statistics

Gordon Slade elected Fellow of the Royal Society

IMS Fellow Professor Gordon Slade, University of British Columbia, has been elected a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society. Gordon’s research is in the fields of probability theory and mathematical physics, especially statistical mechanics. He is well-known for his work on the mathematical study of critical phenomena and phase transitions. With his collaborators, he developed the “lace expansion” into a powerful and flexible method for the analysis of high-dimensional critical phenomena in many mathematical models of interest in physics, including the self-avoiding walk and percolation. In more recent work, he and his collaborators have developed a rigorous renormalisation group method for the analysis of the critical behaviour of spin systems and the weakly self-avoiding walk. His awards include election as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2000, the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize in 2010, and a University of British Columbia Killam Teaching Prize in 2017.

Clifford Spiegelman appointed to Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

On April 20, Clifford Spiegelman was named the first official statistician of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Spiegelman will aid in producing the Educator Survey, a major project for the commission. The survey will help the commission gain an understanding of what Texas educators know of the Holocaust and what they are teaching about this seminal event. William McWhorter, executive director of the commission, wrote that the survey is critical to meeting the commission’s mission and, with Spiegelman’s assistance, they hope to produce the most effective Educator Survey possible.

Visit the commissions’ website for details: http://thgc.texas.gov/





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