Harvard Chan’s Nan Laird wins 2021 International Prize in Statistics

Nan Laird, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Public Health, Emerita, in Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics, was awarded the 2021 International Prize in Statistics in recognition of her groundbreaking work on methods of analyzing data from longitudinal studies.

A portrait of Nain Laird

Methods developed by Laird have allowed researchers to “to wring detailed information from large studies that follow participants and collect their data over time—sometimes for many decades, such as with the Nurses’ Health Study in the U.S. or the National Child Development Study in the UK,” according to a March 23, 2021 announcement from the American Statistical Association.

Garrett Fitzmaurice, professor in the Department of Biostatistics, described Laird’s seminal 1982 Biometrics paper as a “statistical tour de force” and credited her with pioneering “the development and application of what are now considered to be modern statistical methods for longitudinal analysis. Her work has changed how statisticians and empirical researchers approach the analysis of data from longitudinal studies.”

The International Prize in Statistics is awarded every two years by five leading international statistics organizations and recognizes an individual or team that has made major achievements in the field of statistics.

Read the American Statistical Association announcement: International Prize in Statistics Awarded to Nan Laird for Methods of Analyzing Data from Longitudinal Studies