NZ Statistical Association announces award winners


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 03 December 2015
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of

The New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA) and the Operations Research Society of New Zealand (ORSNZ) held a joint conference hosted by University of Canterbury from 25th-26th November 2015, at which the following awards were announced.

thumbnail image: NZ Statistical Association announces award winners

Maxine Pfannkuch won the Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for her work on statistics education. She studies how people (mostly schoolkids) draw informal statistical conclusions from data and from graphics, and looks for ways to teach them to do it better. Her work has led to significant improvements in the high-school stats curriculum.

Mark Holmes won the Association's Research Award. His research is harder to explain in simple terms, but he studies random processes that accumulate over time — like the shape of the trail left by a randomly-moving point.

Blair Robertson won the Association's Junior Research Award. He used to be an applied mathematician, working on optimisation — finding the best value of a complicated function. He now uses similar techniques to come up with improved ways to choose sets of locations in space and time for environmental sampling.

Maarten Kruijver and Anjali Gupta both won `Young Statistician’ Talk awards. Kruijiver was recognised for his work in forensic statistics, where he looks at ways to estimate the chance that a DNA sample from a crime scene will coincidentally look as if it is from a close relative of someone in the police database.

Gupta was recognised for her study of a laser-based technique for measuring chemical composition of things, with forensics being one application. She was studying the variation in measurements for the same object over time, to understand more about the accuracy of the technique.

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