Statisticians Honored for Contributions
Madhuri Mulekar, University of South Alabama and Secretary/Treasurer of COPSS
The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) presents awards annually to honor statisticians for their outstanding contributions and service to further the statistics field. Four awards were presented during the Joint Statistical Meetings on August 5.
The 2009 Presidents’ Award was presented to Rafael Irizarry of The Johns Hopkins University. This award is presented to a young member of one of the participating societies of COPSS in recognition of outstanding contributions to the statistics profession. The award citation recognized Irizarry for “his wide-ranging and highly influential contributions to the theory and methodology of statistical science that underpins the analysis of time series and genomic data; for demonstrating the essential role of statistics to the advancement of modern genomic science and biotechnology; for advancing statistical practice through publication of open-source software and participation in the core development group of Bioconductor; for his leadership of multidisciplinary scientific teams; and for his outstanding contributions to statistics as an editorial board member and mentor of students and post-doctoral fellows.” Also a recipient of the 2001 Noether Award, 2004 Outstanding Statistical Application Award, and 2007 Youden Award, Irizarry has contributed to the field of genomics through numerous publications and the open-source software Bioconductor.
The 2009 George W. Snedecor Award was presented to Marie Davidian of North Carolina State University. This award honors an individual who was instrumental in the development of statistical theory in biometry with a noteworthy publication in biometry within three years of the date of the award. The award citation recognized Davidian “for fundamental contributions to the theory and methodology of longitudinal data, especially nonlinear mixed effects models; for significant contributions to the analysis of clinical trials and observational studies; and for leadership as president of ENAR, as editor, and as a member of the International Biometric Society (IBS) council.” The award recognized the publication jointly written with M. Zhang and A. A. Tsiatis, “Improving Efficiency of Inferences in Randomized Clinical Trials Using Auxiliary Covariates,” Biometrics, 64, 707–715. Davidian has authored two books and 80 publications and is a recipient of the Janet Norwood Award.
The 2009 Florence Nightingale David Award was presented to Nancy Reid, university professor and Canada research chair in statistical theory and applications in the department of statistics at the University of Toronto. This award recognizes a female statistician who exemplifies the contributions of David. The award citation recognized Reid for “her pioneering research in statistical asymptotics, her imaginative teaching, and her outstanding record of service to the statistical profession.” Reid’s research interests are in asymptotic statistical theory, likelihood inference, and applications to health and particle physics. She is co-author of the book Applied Asymptotics: Case Studies in Small-Sample Statistics. Reid has been a strong advocate for statistics in Canada and internationally and an enthusiastic mentor to young researchers. She has served as president of the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) and Institute of Mathematical Statistics and as vice president of the International Statistical Institute. She has received numerous awards, including the 1992 COPSS Presidents’ Award and the 2009 SSC Gold Medal.
The 2009 R. A. Fisher Lectureship was awarded to Noel Cressie of The Ohio State University. The Fisher lectureship honors the contributions of Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher and the work of a present-day statistician and recognizes the importance of statistical methods for scientific investigations. Cressie gave a presentation titled “Where, When, and Then Why.” He opened his lecture with historical background on Fisher and a few humorous quotations attributed to him. Then, he went on to discuss statistical challenges involved in analyzing large data sets and solutions he proposed in a variety of projects. The award citation recognized Cressie for “his pioneering advances in statistical methodology inspired by science and engineering, particularly in the areas of spatial and spatio-temporal statistics, and for his vision and leadership in the statistical modeling of uncertainties in environmental science.”
COPSS awards the Presidents’ Award and Fisher lectureship annually, while the Snedecor and F. N. David awards are given biannually in odd-numbered years and the Elizabeth Scott award is given biannually in even-numbered years. Each award consists of a plaque, citation, and cash honorarium. Click here for award criteria and nominating procedures.