News from the Statistics Department

Donald B. Rubin has been awarded the 2017 Rao Prize for Outstanding Research in Statistics. The C.R. Rao and Bhargavi Prize honors outstanding and influential innovations in the theory and practice of mathematical statistics, international leadership in directing statistical research, and pioneering contributions by a recognized leader in the field. 

Donald B. Rubin has also been awarded an honorary degree from Northwestern University. His citation says “Rubin’s work in causal inference, missing data, matching and applied Bayesian inference essentially defined new fields of statistics.”

The 2017 Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research has been given to Jun Liu for “For groundbreaking research contributions at the interface of statistics and biology, including algorithms for protein sequence analysis, DNA sequence motif finding, gene expression analysis, and regulatory network elucidation that have become important tools for computational biologists.”

Samuel Kou is one of the co-authors of “Advances in using Internet searches to track dengue” which appeared in PLOS Computational Biology in 2017. Media coverage includes CNN, PLOS press release at Science Daily and Eurekalert, and Deutsches Arzteblatt. Samuel’s collaborators are Shihao Yang, a Ph.D. candidate in the Statistics Department, as well as Fred Lu, John Brownstein, Nicholas Brooke and Mauricio Santillana.

Susan Murphy will join the Statistics Department on September 1st as a Professor of Statistics. Susan is currently the H.E. Robbins Distinguished University Professor of Statistics & Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. She has received several honors during her career, including being a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a MacArthur Fellow. 

Lucas Janson joined the Statistics Department on July 1st as an Assistant Professor of Statistics.  Lucas is currently a PhD student in statistics at Stanford.  Lucas describes his work in the following way: “I am interested in both theoretical and applied statistical problems. On the theoretical side, I am concentrating on high-dimensional statistical inference, robust machine learning, and robotic motion-planning. On the applied side, I have been fortunate to work with a number of excellent collaborators in fields such as immunology, surgery, and health care.”