NWO Spinoza Prize awarded to influential statistician


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 21 July 2015
  • Copyright: Image courtesy of Getty Images

Aad van der Vaart, Professor of Stochastics at Leiden University, has been awarded the NWO Spinoza Prize for his groundbreaking research in statistics.

thumbnail image: NWO Spinoza Prize awarded to influential statistician

Professor van der Vaart conducts research in pure mathematical statistics as well more applied research on statistics and probability theory, and is an international leading authority in the research field of mathematical statistics. His work focuses primarily on extremely complex statistical problems in high dimensional or infinite dimensional mathematical models. The uncertainties in these models not only concern numbers but also vectors and even entire mathematical functions. These kinds of complex statistics play an important part in fields such as epidemiology and econometrics.

Professor van der Vaart has been influential in the Netherlands in drawing attention to nonparametric Bayesian statistics, and it is partly thanks to his efforts that this branch of statistics has now developed into a key research field.

The NWO Spinoza Prize is the highest award in science in the Netherlands, and will be awarded this year to four leading scientists working in the Netherlands. Together with Aad van der Vaart, organic chemistry authority René Janssen, religious studies scholar Birgit Meyer, and human genetics professor Cisca Wijmenga will each receive 2.5 million euros to be used to continue their scientific research. The NWO Spinoza Prizes will be presented at an award ceremony on Monday 14 September 2015 in the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague.

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