Winners of 2014 RSS Medals announced

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  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 01 April 2014
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

The Royal Statistical Society has announced that winners of their Medals this year. The Guy Medal in Silver and Bronze, and the Chambers Medal are bestowed on an annual basis. The Guy Medal in Gold tends to be awarded every three years.

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Named after the distinguished statistician, William Guy FRS, the Guy medals aim 'to encourage the cultivation of statistics in their scientific aspects and promote the application of numbers to the solution of important problems in all the relations of life in which the numerical method can be employed, with a view to determining the laws which regulate them' (RSS website, 1st April 2014).

The Guy Medal in Gold may be awarded to fellows or others who are judged to have merited a signal mark of distinction by reason of their innovative contributions to the theory or application of statistics. This year, the Guy Medal in Gold has been awarded to Professor Bradley Efron 'in recognition of his hugely influential contributions to both theoretical and applied statistics' (Statslife, 13th March 2014). He is best known for proposing the bootstrap sampling technique and currently holds the Max H. Stein endowed chair as Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford.

The Silver medal may be awarded to any fellow or, in exceptional cases, to two or more fellows in respect of a paper/papers of special merit communicated to the Society at its ordinary meetings, or in repect of a paper/papers published in any of the journals of the Society. General contributions to statistics may also be taken into account. This year's has been awarded to Professor Jianqing Fan 'for his seminal papers 'Sure independence screening for ultra-high dimensional feature space' and 'Large covariance estimation by thresholding principal orthogonal complements', read to the Society in 2008 and 2013 respectively, his path-breaking research in high-dimensional statistical learning and inferences, important contributions to non-parametric and semi-parametric statistics and his service to the international statistical community' (Statslife, 13th March 2014). Professor Fan teaches statistics and is also Chair of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton.

The Bronze Medal may be awarded to fellows, or to non-fellows who are members of a section or a local group, in respect of a paper or papers read to a section or local group or at any conference run by the Society, its sections or local groups, or published in any of the Society's journals. Preference will be given to people under the age of 35. Exceptionally two or more authors of a paper/papers may be considered for the award provided they are members of sections or local groups. The Bronze Medal has been awarded this year to 'Professor Ming Yuan for his theoretical and methodological contributions to high-dimensional statistical inference, machine learning, and nonparametric and semiparametric estimation problems. These include his paper on the group Lasso (`Model selection and estimation in regression with grouped variables', with Y Lin, J. R. Statist. Soc B (2006), 68, 49-67) and two further papers in series B of the Society's journal in 2007' (Statslife, 13th March 2014). Professor Yuan teaches statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Named after Sir Paul Chambers, a former president of the Society and chairman of ICI, the Chambers Medal is awarded once every three years to a fellow of the Society for outstanding services to it. This year's has been awarded to Jenny Lannon 'for her instrumental role in the formation and establishment of the Young Statisticians' Section, and her leadership as its founding chair. Since its creation in 2009, the section has greatly enhanced the RSS by encouraging and enabling more statisticians in the early years of their careers to become engaged with the Society’ (Statslife, 13th March 2014). Dr Lannon is currently a Principal Statistician at NHS Blood and Transplant.

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