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People News—July 2018

1 July 2018 No Comment

Dipak Dey

    Dipak Dey with his 2018 Don Owen Award

    Dey with his 2018 Don Owen Award

    The 2018 Don Owen Award, conferred by the San Antonio Chapter, was presented to Dipak Dey April 13 during the 38th annual Conference of Texas Statisticians, which was held at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. Dey was nominated by Bani Mallick, university distinguished professor of statistics at Texas A&M University.

    Dey is a board of trustees distinguished professor in the department of statistics at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He earned his doctoral degree in statistics from Purdue University in 1980 and taught at the University of Kentucky and Texas Tech University before joining the University of Connecticut in 1985.

    Dey is the author or co-author of more than 260 refereed papers—a good portion of them in premier statistics journals. Also, a good number of his publications deal with substantial statistical applications in bioinformatics, genomics, and optics. Dey has written a textbook and been the co-editor of nine edited books. Along with these publications, Dey has made broad and significant contributions in decision theory, Bayesian inference, survival analysis, and multivariate methods.

    Dey has received numerous awards, including being elected as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, International Society for Bayesian Analysis, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the International Statistical Institute. He has supervised about 35 PhD students and made numerous contributions to the university and statistical profession.

    The San Antonio Chapter is proud to honor Dipak Dey for his excellence in research, statistical consultation, and service to the statistical community.

    The Don Owen Award is presented annually by the ASA San Antonio Chapter and sponsored by the Taylor & Francis Group.

    Barry Bosworth and Danny Pfeffermann



      Barry Bosworth—senior fellow in the economics studies program and Robert V. Roosa Chair in International Economics at the Brookings Institution—and Danny Pfeffermann—director of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics and professor of statistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Southampton, UK—have been selected to receive the 2018 Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics. The award recognizes unusually original and important contributions to the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics in interpreting the economy.

      Bosworth is recognized for conducting research using key federal government statistical programs to study topics such as capital formation, saving, and productivity growth and for advising the statistical agencies to improve these programs.



      Pfeffermann is recognized for collaborating with statistical agencies around the world to improve several major programs, such as time series small area estimation, estimation of mean square error of seasonally adjusted and trend estimators, and modeling of complex survey data, accounting for informative sampling and nonresponse.

      Bosworth and Pfeffermann become the 46th and 47th recipients of the award. They will be honored at events hosted by the three sponsors of the award: The Washington Statistical Society, National Association for Business Economics, and Business and Economics Section of the American Statistical Association.

      Trevor Hastie and Simon Tavaré

      The National Academy of Sciences has elected Trevor Hastie—professor of statistics and John A. Overdeck Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Biomedical Sciences at Stanford University—as a new member and Simon Tavaré—former director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge—as a foreign associate. Both honors are in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

      Hastie, who is originally from South Africa, joined the Stanford faculty in 1994, where he had earned his PhD, after spending eight years at the statistics and data analysis research group at Bell Labs in New Jersey. His main research interests have been in applied statistics, with current interests focusing on statistical modeling and prediction. He has published more than 200 articles and five books, the most recent being Computer Age Statistical Inference (with Bradley Efron). Hastie’s work in modeling tools also provided the foundation for much of the statistical modeling in R.

      Tavaré earned his PhD in probability and statistics from the University of Sheffield in the UK and has taught widely in the US, holding positions at the University of Colorado, University of Utah, and University of Southern California. Since 2003, he has held several positions at the University of Cambridge, where he is professor of cancer research (bioinformatics) and senior group leader at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute. He has done pioneering research in computational biology, and his Cambridge group focuses on statistical methods for the analysis of next‑generation sequencing data, evolutionary approaches to cancer, and methods for the analysis of genomics data.

      Both Hastie and Tavaré are fellows of the American Statistical Association.

      View a full list of new members and foreign associates.

      ASA Staff Meets Jeff Weld

        ASA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach Donna LaLonde and ASA’s Director of Science Policy Steve Pierson speak to Jeff Weld, a science educator serving as senior policy adviser in STEM education for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

        From left: ASA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach Donna LaLonde and ASA’s Director of Science Policy Steve Pierson speak to Jeff Weld, a science educator serving as senior policy adviser in STEM education for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

          Members of the ASA executive staff—Donna LaLonde, Ron Wasserstein, and Steve Pierson—met Jeff Weld, a science educator serving as senior policy adviser in STEM education for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Weld and his team are producing a new five-year STEM education strategy plan, the last one having been issued in 2013. The ASA made the case for the inclusion of statistical thinking for all K–20 students and discussed the need for professional development of K–20 introduction to statistics instructors and the demand for more statistical skills in both science and workforce training, especially in the data science era.

          Victoria Kennerley

          Submitted by Dudley Poston, Wray Jackson Smith Award Selection Committee Chair

            Victoria Kennerley


            Members of the Wray Jackson Smith Award Selection Committee recently chose Victoria Kennerley, a fourth-year student at the University of Florida, as the 2018 scholarship winner.

            Awarded jointly with the ASA’s Social Statistics Section, this scholarship supports work toward a career in government statistics. The scholarship encourages promising young statisticians to consider a future in government statistics by providing up to $1,000 for use in exploring a number of opportunities.

            Kennerley, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in statistics, will spend her summer as an intern at the National Cancer Institute in the biostatistics branch of the department of cancer epidemiology and genetics. From there, she will begin graduate school at Emory University to pursue a Master of Science in public health in biostatistics. After completing her graduate education, she hopes to pursue a career in government statistics with a focus on health.

            Kennerley’s career interest in government statistics began during her internship at the National Cancer Institute during the summer of 2017. Her research focused on analyzing incidence trends and relative risk rates of colon and rectum cancers at the county level among 612 US counties in two age groups. She conducted age-period-cohort analyses to assess geographic heterogeneity.

            Her responsibilities included determining the best method for modeling the data, finding a model of best fit for each cancer and age group combination by fitting several models with varying fixed and random effects in R, and then visually mapping and assessing the geographic patterns for each cancer in the selected models. She then conducted follow-up analyses to determine how population covariates explained the geographic heterogeneity of relative risk and incidence trend patterns.

            Kennerley created a poster summarizing the results of her project, which she presented at both the main campus of the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. These results are now being developed into a paper for publication.

            The Wray Jackson Smith Scholarship was created to honor the memory of a founding member of the Government Statistics Section and a longtime contributor to federal statistics. Smith’s federal career spanned four decades and included positions in the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and the Energy Information Administration. After retiring from the federal government in 1983, he continued to play a role in federal statistics from the private sector.

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