Sir Adrian Smith to lead Alan Turing Institute


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 31 January 2018
  • Copyright: Photograph appears courtesy of Sir Adrian Smith

The Alan Turing Institute has announced that Sir Adrian Smith has been appointed as Institute Director. He will take up the role this autumn.

Sir Adrian Smith is a world-renowned British statistician. He studied mathematics at Selwyn College, Cambridge and statistics at University College London.

He is the former Head of the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London. He served on the Advisory Council for the Office for National Statistics from 1996–1998, was Statistical Advisor to the Nuclear Waste Inspectorate from 1991–1998 and was advisor on Operational Analysis to the Ministry of Defence from 1982–1987. He was Principal of Queen Mary, University of London, from 1998-2008; Director General of Knowledge and Innovation in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills until 2012; and is now Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. He is a former President of the Royal Statistical Society and is currently a Deputy Chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

thumbnail image: Sir Adrian Smith to lead Alan Turing Institute

He is best known for his work in statistical theory, in particular Bayesian statistics and evidence-based practice. The late Professor Dennis Lindley named him as “the brightest student I’ve ever had.” With Antonio Machi, Smith translated Bruno de Finetti's Theory of Probability into English, which was republished by Wiley last year in the Wiley Series of Probability and Statistics for which he is also Co-Editor. He wrote an influential paper in 1990 along with Alan E. Gelfand, which drew attention to the significance of the Gibbs sampler technique for Bayesian numerical integration problems. He was knighted in the 2011 New Year Honours.

Sir Adrian commented on his appointment, '“The Alan Turing Institute has a unique role to play in ensuring that the UK fully exploits the potential of advances in data science and AI to transform business and social systems for the benefit of society. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Institute in its next phase of development.”

Statistics Views interviewed Sir Adrian in 2014 and the interview is available here.

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