Nan Laird Receives International Prize in Statistics

Nan LairdA huge congratulations to Professor Nan Laird who has received the prestigious 2021 International Prize in Statistics! The award was given in recognition of her groundbreaking work on powerful methods that have made possible the analysis of complex longitudinal studies.

Launched in 2017 by 5 leading international statistics organizations, the prize is awarded every 2 years to recognize a major achievement by an individual or team in the statistics field, particularly an achievement of powerful and original ideas that has led to practical applications and breakthroughs in other disciplines.

Throughout her career, Laird has published three books and more than 400 papers, which have garnered more than 180,000 citations. A former chair of the Department from 1990–1999, she is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Statistical Association, a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and the recipient of the Janet Norwood Prize and Samuel S. Wilks Award. Laird has served on many panels and editorial boards, including a 1986 National Academy of Sciences panel on airliner cabin environment, which led to the elimination of smoking on airplanes.

One of Laird’s biggest contributions was through work she did with the late Jim Ware that was published in the 1982 Biometrics paper, Random Effects Models for Longitudinal Data: An Overview of Recent Results, since described as “a statistical tour de force. Laird’s work pioneered the way for statistical analysis of real world longitudinal data and has had a lasting impact on the entire field.

Laird will receive the International Prize in Statistics this July at the biennial International Statistical Institute World Statistics Congress, which will be held virtually.

Read more about Laird’s work, her background, and the award here.