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People News for January 2011

1 January 2011 No Comment

Nilanjan Chatterjee

Nilanjan Chatterjee received the 2010 Spiegelman Award during the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in Denver, Colorado, last November. This award, named after statistician and demographer Mortimer Spiegelman, is given annually by the statistics section of APHA to recognize a statistician under age 40 who has made outstanding contributions to public health.

Chatterjee is chief of the biostatistics branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) at the National Cancer Institute. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, India, and his PhD in statistics from the University of Washington. He is internationally known for his leadership on the development of innovative and rigorous statistical methods for analyses of modern epidemiologic studies. He has coauthored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and often led methodological publications in top-rated journals of both statistics and genetics. A Fellow of the American Statistical Association, he has received numerous awards, including the Z.W. Birnbaum Award, NIH Merit Award, and DCEG Outstanding Mentoring Award.

Art Fries

Arthur (Art) Fries

The U.S. Army Wilks Award for 2010 was recently awarded to Art Fries of the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). The award was established in 1981 to commemorate the career of Samuel S. Wilks and his service to the Army. It is given periodically to a “deserving individual who has made a substantial contribution to statistical methodology and application, impacting the practice of statistics in the Army through personal research in statistics or application of statistics in the solution of Army problems.” Fries is the twenty-fifth recipient, chosen for his work in making, illustrating, and communicating the case that statistical ideas and methods are important in addressing defense and national security issues. This year’s presentation was made at the U.S. Army Conference on Applied Statistics.

Fries earned his PhD in statistics from the University of Wisconsin in 1982. Research publications from that period were in minimum aberration designs and the inverse Gaussian distribution.

Fries joined IDA in 1982 and has worked on a range of important defense and national security issues and projects. Much of his career has focused on supporting the director of operational test and evaluation, an office within the Department of Defense (DoD) that reports directly to the secretary of defense and Congress with its independent evaluation of the operational effectiveness and suitability of major defense systems. Fries has been intimately involved in designing test plans, monitoring test conduct, analyzing the resulting data, and communicating the findings for a large number of U.S. Army and other DoD systems. He also has been active professionally through publications, conference presentations, and participation in statistical buy ativan online no prescription societies. Areas of research include reliability growth, model validation, and Bayesian methods for sparse data situations.

Sharon Hessney

ASA member and Boston Public Schools teacher, Sharon Hessney, recently won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The award is given annually to the best pre-college–level science and mathematics teachers in the United States. The winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.

Hessney received $10,000 from the National Science Foundation to be used at her discretion. She also received an expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.

Douglas H. Johnson

The Wildlife Society’s sixty-first Aldo Leopold Memorial Award was recently presented to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) senior scientist and ASA member Douglas H. Johnson during the society’s annual conference in Snowbird, Utah. The award recognizes Johnson’s “distinguished service to wildlife conservation” for a career that has spanned more than 40 years with the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Leopold award honors the legacy of Aldo Leopold (1887–1948), who is widely considered to be the father of modern wildlife management and conservation in North America. It is the highest honor bestowed by The Wildlife Society and is considered the highest recognition for a professional wildlife ecologist.

Johnson’s career embodies the essence of Leopold’s professional contributions as a scientist. He is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in wildlife research and management and described by supporters and award nominators as one of the “true visionaries in the wildlife profession” during the last four decades.

Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and psychology from the University of Minnesota, master’s degree in statistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and doctorate in zoology from North Dakota State University.

In 1970, Johnson began his career as a statistician at the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, where he worked for 35 years. Since 2005, he has been stationed at Northern Prairie’s field office in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Johnson’s ongoing research includes statistical and biological issues, and he has been a pioneer in using modeling and statistics to understand complex wildlife problems and identify pertinent information needs. His expertise includes ecology, conservation, habitat management, statistical modeling and theory, mathematics, inventory and monitoring, population dynamics, taxonomy, and agricultural programs.

Johnson has authored or coauthored several hundred presentations on these and other subjects at scientific meetings, workshops, seminars, and lectures and has published more than 185 papers in peer-reviewed national and international scientific journals, government scientific report series,
and conference proceedings and transactions.

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