2013 SSC Award Winners
- Honorary Member
- SSC Gold Medalist
- Distinguished Service Award
- Pierre-Robillard Award
- CRM-SSC Prize in Statistics
- The Canadian Journal of Statistics Award
- SSC Impact Award
SSC Honorary Membership awarded to Bovas Abraham
“To Bovas Abraham, for his fundamental contributions to the statistical sciences, advances in time series analysis, statistical methods for quality improvement, and industrial statistics, for dissemination of statistical methodology through authorship of textbooks, and for his service as founding president of the Business and Industrial Statistics Section and President of the Statistical Society of Canada.”
SSC Honorary Membership awarded to Chris Field
SSC Gold Medal awarded to Jeffrey Rosenthal
Distinguished Service Award: Nancy Reid
Pierre Robillard Award: Luke Bornn
Luke Bornn is the winner of the 2012 Pierre Robillard Award of the Statistical Society of Canada. This prize recognizes the best PhD thesis in probability or statistics defended at a Canadian university in a given year.
Luke’s thesis, entitled “Modeling Latent Correlation Structures with Application to Agricultural and Environmental Science,” was written at the University of British Columbia under the joint supervision of Arnaud Doucet and James V. Zidek. In his PhD work, Luke focused on eliciting latent correlation structures in spatial and/or temporal systems. He explored latent representations of correlation structures, and looked at the use of graphical models, spatial warping, and latent space representations to build flexible yet scalable correlation functions. For the latter, he came up with a novel approach to modeling non-stationary spatial fields. This ingenious technique works by expanding the geographic plane over which these processes evolve into higher dimensional spaces, transforming and clarifying complex patterns in the physical plane. Throughout, he applied the proposed methods to agricultural and environmental systems.
Luke grew up in the Vancouver area. After completing his MSc degree at the University of British Columbia under the direction of Arnaud Doucet and Raphael Gottardo, he stayed on to do his PhD under the tutelage of Arnaud Doucet and James V. Zidek. During his graduate studies, he held visiting researcher positions at Los Alamos National Laboratories, at the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI), and the Université de Bordeaux. After completing his PhD in July 2012, Luke moved with his wife Katie and six-month old daughter Adelaide to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he joined the Harvard Statistics Department as an Assistant Professor.
The criteria used in selecting the winner of the Pierre Robillard Award include the originality of ideas and techniques, the possible applications and their treatment, and the potential impact of the work. The award is named in memory of Professor Pierre Robillard, an outstanding dynamic young statistician at the Université de Montréal, whose untimely death in 1975 cut short what promised to be a highly distinguished career.
Luke Bornn will present the results of his thesis in a special session at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada to be held in Edmonton, Alberta, May 26 to 29, 2013.
CRM-SSC Prize in Statistics awarded to Derek Bingham
The Canadian Journal of Statistics Award: Zhong Guan, Jing Qin and Biao Zhang
The Canadian Journal of Statistics Award is presented each year by the Statistical Society of Canada to the author(s) of an article published in the Journal, in recognition of the outstanding quality of the paper’s methodological innovation and presentation. This year’s winner is the article entitled “Information borrowing methods for covariate-adjusted ROC curve” (Volume 40, no. 3, pp. 569-587) by Zhong Guan, Jing Qin and Biao Zhang.
In medical diagnostic testing problems, the covariate adjusted receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves have been discussed recently for achieving the best separation between case and control. Due to various constraints, the sample sizes for some covariate values are not large enough to support reliable direct estimations of ROCs for all the underlying covariates of interest. The authors develop statistical methods to effectively utilize the information provided by the data using the semiparametric exponential tilting models. In these models, the density functions from different covariate levels share a common baseline density and the parameters in the exponential tilting component reflect the difference among covariates. The new covariate adjusted ROC is much smoother and more efficient than the nonparametric counterpart. A simulation study and a real data application are reported.
Zhong Guan is an Associate Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Indiana University South Bend. He received his PhD in statistics from The University of Toledo in 2001. Before joining the faculty at IU South Bend in 2004, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Yale University School of Medicine. His research focuses on empirical likelihood method semiparametric and nonparametric models and bioinformatics.
Jing Qin is a Mathematical Statistician at the Biostatistics Research Branch in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. After graduating from the University of Waterloo (1992), he spent one year as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland. Before moving to the National Institute of Health (2004), he worked at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for 5 years. Dr. Qin's research interests include the empirical likelihood method, case-control study, length bias sampling, econometrics, survival analysis, missing data, causal inference, genetic mixture models, generalized linear models, survey sampling and microarray data analysis. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2006. He was a winner of the Pierre Robillard award in 1993 (The best statistical thesis defended in Canada in 1992).
Biao Zhang is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Toledo. He completed his PhD in statistics at the University of Chicago in 1992. Before coming to the University of Toledo, he was a visiting assistant professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. From 2000-2001 Biao was a visiting associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan. His areas of research interest include empirical likelihood, missing data analysis, ROC curve analysis, and semiparametric statistical inference under density ratio models.
The award-winning paper will be presented by Dr. Qin at the 41th Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada to be held in Edmonton, Alberta, May 26-29, 2013.
SSC Impact Award: David Thomson
David was born on 1942 in St. John, New Brunswick. He attended Acadia University in Wolfville, obtaining a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mathematics and Physics in 1965. Soon after, he moved south to New Jersey, having been hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories into a development division, and to take part in their Graduate Study Program. Accordingly, through this program David completed an MS (1967) and a PhD (1971) in Electrical Engineering, both degrees granted by Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now part of NYU), while completing a set of internal courses on topics so new that textbooks did not yet exist.
In parallel with his work on cellular phone systems, David found time to write his best-known statistical work, the 1982 paper entitled Spectrum Estimation and Harmonic Analysis, published in the Proceedings of the IEEE. This paper has received over 1900 external citations, and has been highly influential in the related fields of geophysics, seismology, helioseismology and sig-nal processing. The key accomplishment of this paper was to explain why multiple data tapers are needed for spectrum estimation. This work gave a consistent estimator for power spectra and practical tools for harmonic analysis. Multitaper anal-ysis converted spectrum estimation from something in the realm of “black magic” to a rigorous scientific tool, correcting problems that had been known as far back as Lord Rayleigh and Sir F. Arthur Schuster in the late 1800s.
Since 1990 David has tirelessly pursued a two-decade-long work exploring data series from a number of spacecraft (especially, but not limited to, the Ulysses project, on which he was Co-Investigator) and has had a profound impact on our understanding of interplanetary magnetic fields and the Sun. His recent discovery of the existence in numerous scientific data sets of signatures of buoyancy (g-) modes that are theorized to exist in the Sun is contributing to a strong change in scientific understanding of the structure of the Sun, its magnetic fields, and their relationship to our climate and environment on Earth.
The citation for the award reads:
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