Math and Stats

Ashvin Swaminathan to Receive 2018 Morgan Prize

AMS Feed - Sun, 2017-12-10 22:00

Ashvin Anand Swaminathan, a PhD student at Princeton University, is the recipient of the 2018 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student for his exceptional research in algebraic geometry, number theory, and combinatorics, which has appeared in numerous well-regarded professional level journals. (Photo: Chris Smith.)

Categories: Math and Stats

Vi Hart and Matt Parker to Receive 2018 JPBM Communication Awards

AMS Feed - Thu, 2017-12-07 22:00

Vi Hart and Matt Parker will each receive the 2018 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communication Award on January 13 at the 2018 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego. (Photo of Vi Hart: M Eifler, 2017 (CC by 4.0). Photo of Matt Parker: Steve Ullathorne.)

Categories: Math and Stats

Four Mathematicians Win New Horizons Prizes

AMS Feed - Tue, 2017-12-05 22:00

Aaron Naber, Northwestern University, Maryna Viazovska, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Zhiwei Yun, Yale University, and Wei Zhang, MIT and Columbia University, received New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes. Aaron Naber and Maryna Viazovska each received \$100,000, while Zhiwei Yun and Wei Zhang will share their \$100,000 prize. Aaron Naber is a member of the 2018 class of AMS Fellows, chosen for contributions to differential geometry, particularly to manifolds with bounds on Ricci curvature. The New Horizons in Mathematics Prize is awarded to promising early-career researchers who have already produced important work in mathematics. The prizes are funded by a grant from Mark Zuckerberg’s fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and a grant from the Milner Foundation. See all 2018 prize winners.

Categories: Math and Stats

Sylvain Cappell to Receive 2018 Award for Distinguished Public Service

AMS Feed - Tue, 2017-12-05 22:00

Sylvain Cappell, Julius Silver Professor of Mathematics at New York University (NYU), will receive the 2018 AMS Award for Distinguished Public Service for his remarkable mentoring of talented young mathematicians, his dedication to protecting human rights, and his extraordinary involvement in outreach. (Photo courtesy of the Simons Foundation.)

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Hacon and McKernan win 2018 Breakthrough Prize

AMS Feed - Sun, 2017-12-03 22:00

The 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics was awarded to Christopher Hacon (far left) and James McKernan (left) for transformational contributions to birational algebraic geometry, especially to the minimal model program in all dimensions. Both Hacon and McKernan are AMS members and were jointly awarded the 2009 Cole Prize in Algebra and the 2016 E. H. Moore Research Article Prize. Additionally, Hacon was a 2006-2007 Centennial Fellow.

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Judea Pearl to Receive Inaugural Ulf Grenander Prize in Stochastic Theory and Modeling

AMS Feed - Sun, 2017-12-03 22:00

Judea Pearl will receive the 2018 Ulf Grenander Prize in Stochastic Theory and Modeling for the invention of a model-based approach to probabilistic and causal reasoning, for the discovery of innovative tools for inferring these models from observations, and for the development of novel computational methods for the practical applications of these models. (Photo: UCLA Engineering.)

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Karen Hunger Parshall to Receive 2018 Whiteman Prize

AMS Feed - Thu, 2017-11-30 22:00

Karen Hunger Parshall, University of Virginia, will receive the 2018 Albert Leon Whiteman Memorial Prize of the AMS for her outstanding work in the history of mathematics, and in particular, for her work on the evolution of mathematics in the USA and on the history of algebra, as well as for her substantial contribution to the international life of her discipline through students, editorial work, and conferences. (Photo: Bryan Parsons.)

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AMS Election Results

AMS Feed - Wed, 2017-11-29 22:00

Results of the 2017 AMS election have been announced. Jill C. Pipher, Brown University, was elected president. She will serve as president-elect beginning in 2018 and will begin her two-year term as AMS president in 2019. See all the election results.

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Robert Guralnick to Receive 2018 Cole Prize in Algebra

AMS Feed - Tue, 2017-11-28 22:00

Robert Guralnick, University of Southern California (USC), will receive the 2018 Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra for his groundbreaking research on representation theory, cohomology, and subgroup structure of finite quasi-simple groups, and the wide-ranging applications of this work to other areas of mathematics.

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Henry Cohn to Receive the 2018 Conant Prize

AMS Feed - Sun, 2017-11-26 22:00

The 2018 Levi L. Conant Prize will be awarded to Henry Cohn for his article "A Conceptual Breakthrough in Sphere Packing," published in the February 2017 issue of the Notices of the AMS. (Photo courtesy of Mary Caisley.)

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Dennis Gaitsgory to Receive 2018 Chevalley Prize in Lie Theory

AMS Feed - Tue, 2017-11-21 22:00

The 2018 Chevalley Prize will be awarded to Dennis Gaitsgory, Harvard University, for his work on the geometric Langlands program, especially his fundamental contributions to the categorical Langlands conjecture and its extension in his recent work with Dima Arinkin.

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Bernd Sturmfels to Receive 2018 George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics

AMS Feed - Sun, 2017-11-19 22:00

Bernd Sturmfels, University of California, Berkeley, will receive the 2018 George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics for his instrumental role in creating the field of applied algebraic geometry.

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Christiane Rousseau to Receive the 2018 Bertrand Russell Prize of the AMS

AMS Feed - Thu, 2017-11-16 22:00

Christiane Rousseau, Université de Montréal, will receive the inaugural Bertrand Russell Prize of the AMS in recognition of her many contributions furthering human values and the common good through mathematics.

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IMS Travel Awards: apply now

IMS Bulletin - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:21

As we previously announced, the IMS has created a new category of travel award, aimed at graduate students who wish to attend an IMS sponsored or co-sponsored meeting. The IMS Hannan Graduate Student Travel Award was created by a bequest from the estate of Jim Hannan’s widow, Bettie, who passed away this year. Jim Hannan, who was an IMS Fellow, died in 2010. You can read a little about his life and career here.

The Hannan Graduate Student Travel Award funds travel and registration to attend (and possibly present a paper/poster at) an IMS sponsored or co-sponsored meeting. The travel awards are available to IMS members who are graduate students (seeking a Masters or PhD degree) studying some area of statistical science or probability.

This new award is in addition to the ongoing IMS New Researcher Travel Award. If you are a New Researcher (awarded your PhD in 2012–17) looking for travel funds, you should apply for this award to fund travel, and possibly other expenses, to present a paper or a poster at an IMS sponsored or co-sponsored meeting (apart from the IMS New Researcher’s Conference, which is funded separately).

Applicants for both these travel awards must be members of IMS, though joining at the time of application is allowed (student membership is free, and new graduate membership discounted!). The application deadline for both is February 1, 2018. See and

One of the recipients of last year’s New Researcher Travel Award was Stephen Chan. He wrote, “I was very privileged to receive the IMS Travel Award, which provided me with the opportunity to attend the annual Joint Statistical Meetings conference. Participating in JSM provided me with a great chance to network with leading experts in my research area, which I hope will lead to future collaborative research opportunities. In addition, it enhanced and widened my ability and knowledge in the area that I am passionate about.” He added that he liked Baltimore, “a vibrant multi-cultural city with many attractions to see nearby.” He hopes to attend another JSM: “With the sheer size of the conference, I was amazed at how efficiently it was organized. I am already looking forward to the next JSM!”

Two of this year’s IMS New Researcher Travel Award recipients at the JSM in Baltimore. Pictured here (l-r) are Ji Zhu (Chair of the IMS Travel Awards committee), recipients Chengchun Shi and Stephen Chan, and IMS President Jon Wellner.

Categories: Math and Stats

American Statistical Association honors bestowed at JSM

IMS Bulletin - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:17

The ASA Founders Award is bestowed upon ASA members with long-standing and distinguished service to the association and its membership. Four people received the Founders Award at JSM, including Nick Horton (For long-term active involvement in ASA chapters, sections, and committees; for serving on a wide variety of committees, including the 2015 JSM Program Committee, the Education Council, the Waller Education Award Committee, and the Traveling Course Committee; for serving as chair of the Statistics Education Section, chair of the Education Workgroup on Undergraduate Curriculum Guidelines, and chair of the ASA/NCTM Joint Committee; for effective leadership on the Council of Chapters Governing Board and ASA Board of Directors; and for exceptional service and leadership in a wide variety of other professional activities) and John Eltinge (For extensive support of and involvement in the continual improvement of federal statistical programs, as evidenced by leadership at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and active participation on the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology and an abundance of interagency committees; for exemplary contributions as associate editor for multiple journals and to program committees for numerous statistical conferences, including service as program chair of the Joint Statistical Meetings; for commitment to enhancing the relevance of the ASA to the federal statistical agencies; and for insightful mentoring at the local and national levels). Also honored were Wendy Martinez and Jane Pendergast.

Edward C. Bryant Scholarship: Established by Westat, this scholarship is awarded to outstanding graduate students in survey statistics. The 2017 Edward C. Bryant Scholarship recipient is Hejian Sang of Iowa State University.

Award of Outstanding Statistical Application: Sudipto Banerjee (UCLA) was one of the authors of the winning paper, an outstanding application of statistics in the physical, biological or medical sciences. The other award honorees were Abhirup Datta, Andrew Finley, Nicholas A. S. Hamm and Martin Schaap; their paper, “Non-Separable Dynamic Nearest-Neighbor Gaussian Process Models for Spatio-Temporal Data with an Application to Particulate Matter Analysis,” was published in the Annals of Applied Statistics in 2016.

Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Award: The Wilks award honors the distinguished career of Samuel S. Wilks and is bestowed upon an individual who has made statistical contributions to the advancement of scientific or technical knowledge. The 2017 Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Award honoree is Wayne Fuller of Iowa State University.

Statistics in Physical Engineering Sciences Award: Yili Hong of Virginia Tech was one of the authors of the winning paper, “Planning Fatigue Tests for Polymer Composites,” published in the Journal of Quality Technology. The other authors were Caleb King, Stephanie DeHart, Patrick DeFeo and Rong Pan.

Gottfried E. Noether Awards: The Noether awards were established to recognize distinguished researchers and teachers and to support the field of nonparametric statistics. The 2017 Noether Senior Scholar Award honoree is Hans-Georg Mueller of the University of California, Davis. The 2017 Noether Junior Scholar Award honoree is Eric Laber of North Carolina State University.

Categories: Math and Stats

Joanne Wendelberger receives ASQ Hunter Award

IMS Bulletin - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:15

The Statistics Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) recently honored Joanne Wendelberger with the 2017 William G. Hunter Award. The award recognizes Bill Hunter’s many contributions, especially in promoting the use of applied statistics and statistical thinking. Joanne Wendelberger is a senior-level scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, having joined the Statistical Sciences Group in 1992. Earning her PhD in statistics in 1991 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wendelberger was influenced by quality leaders Bill Hunter, George Box and Brian Joiner. Her research has been motivated by the need to develop solutions to complex interdisciplinary problems, with a growing focus on the interface between statistics and computer science. Her current research interests include statistical experimental design and test planning, statistical bounding and uncertainty, materials degradation modeling, sampling and analysis in large-scale computation and visualization, probabilistic computing, and education modeling. Wendelberger is a Fellow of the ASA and a senior member of the ASQ. She was the W.J. Youden Memorial Address speaker for the 2016 Fall Technical Conference and has served as an AE for Technometrics. In addition to her professional contributions, Wendelberger has sought opportunities to inspire the use of statistics in her local community: she has encouraged the use of statistical concepts and effective problem solving techniques for a number of community organizations and forums, including a cooperative preschool, a soccer league, a scholarship committee, and numerous educational outreach activities.

Categories: Math and Stats

CANSSI: Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute

IMS Bulletin - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:15

Nancy Reid writes:

CANSSI is now in its third year of funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and busy building for the future. The scientific flagship program continues to be the suite of Collaborative Research Team (CRT) projects, designed to build sustainable collaborations between statisticians and scientists.

To date we have supported nine CRT projects:

  • Advancements to State-Space Models for Fisheries Science
  • Copula Dependence Modeling: Theory and Applications
  • Statistical Modeling of the World: Computer and Physical Models in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Evolved Marked Point Processes with Applications to Wildland Fire Regimes
  • Statistical Inference for Complex Surveys with Missing Observations
  • Modern Spectrum Methods in Time Series Analysis: Applications in Physical Science, Environmental Science and Computer Modeling
  • Joint Analysis of Neuroimaging Data: High-Dimensional Problems, Spatiotemporal Models and Computation
  • Rare DNA Variants and Human Complex Traits
  • Statistical Analysis of Administrative Health Databases

CANSSI provides partial funding for several workshops each year: in October 2016 the International Conference on Statistical Distributions and their Applications, jointly organized by CANSSI and the Department of Mathematics at Central Michigan University, welcomed 190 participants from 26 countries to Niagara Falls, Canada, including, of course, many IMS members.

We also have a program of post-doctoral fellowships, and provide funding for Canadian undergraduate students to attend the undergraduate research workshops at SAMSI. CANSSI leverages its funding by promoting thematic programs at Canada’s mathematical sciences institutes: there is an upcoming program, “Risk in complex systems: Models, applications, perceptions, and policy implications,” held at the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques in Montréal, August to December 2017.

CANSSI’s scientific activities are overseen by an international Scientific Advisory Committee: the members in 2017 are Raymond Carroll, David Hand, Sallie Keller, Rogemar Mamon, Michael Newton, Douglas Nychka, Christian Robert and Nell Sedransk. We are very grateful to them for their time and advice.

We continue to work on developing international linkages: we have close ties to SAMSI and NISS, and the Director of Norway’s Big Insight, Arnoldo Frigessi, is a member of our Board of Directors. We hope that there will soon be a national effort on data science in Canada, and that links between this and various organizations around the world will be a key component of the efforts of statistical sciences.

Our new Distinguished Visitor Program provides for special lectures by leading statistical scientists. The first DV was Peter Guttorp, who gave an evening talk at UBC–Okanagan in October 2016 on “Understanding the local impact of a warming planet.” In November 2016, Donald Rubin gave two wonderful lectures on causality and missing data at the Fields Institute as the CANSSI-supported Distinguished Lecture Series in Statistics. In 2017, Richard Cook of the University of Waterloo visited the University of Calgary, Hilary Parker of StitchFix visited McGill University and Philippe Soulier, Université Paris-Nanterre, visited the University of Ottawa.

We provide support to Canadian universities to participate in the ASA DataFest or other datathons, after great success with this at the University of Toronto in 2016. We also launched a small program to enable statistical scientists to “kick start” new collaborations with scientists. We have established a series of six Health Sciences Collaborating Centres across the country, to strengthen links with provincial and national health agencies, and highlight the many biostatistical training efforts with which our colleagues around the country are engaged.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly,, for further information about CANSSI, or to discuss how we might build linkages with you!

Categories: Math and Stats

IMS Auditors’ letter and Financial Statements

IMS Bulletin - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:09

A letter from the IMS auditors, Cuini and Panichi, Inc., appears in the December 2017 issue of the Bulletin. It refers to the Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016. This document is available on the IMS website at (as are those for previous years).

Categories: Math and Stats

Stochastic Systems now an IMS-affiliated journal

IMS Bulletin - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:06

Focusing on the interface of applied probability and operations research, Stochastic Systems is the flagship journal of the INFORMS Applied Probability Society and is published through a cooperative agreement between INFORMS and the IMS. This open-access journal seeks to publish high-quality papers that substantively contribute to the modeling, analysis, and control of stochastic systems.

We are delighted to announce that Stochastic Systems is the latest journal to become affiliated to IMS, along with Observational Studies ( and Probability and Mathematical Statistics ( See for more information about affiliated journals.

You can read Stochastic Systems online:

Categories: Math and Stats

Open-Source Software info

IMS Bulletin - Thu, 2017-11-16 12:06

In the January/February 2015 issue, Hadley Wickham wrote a column called “Impact the world by being useful”. In it, he suggested that “the best way to impact the world as a data scientist or statistician is to be useful,”which, he said, we can do by (among other things) writing code and “working in the open.” He proposed that you should release your code with an open source license.

Evan Eubanks from the website WhoIsHostingThis wrote to share a resource that they have put together about Open-Source Software Licenses:

This guide (see below) shares the most popular open-source licenses currently available, with further reading (guides, tutorials and infographics).

About Open-Source Software Licenses

Open-source software is licensed so that anyone can use, alter, and share it. An open-source license (OSS) is a legal contract that determines the copyright of software. Open-source licenses have many practical uses for business and development. The open-source movement has solved many problems that plagued software developers in the past, particularly through crowdsourcing. Rapid development is much easier when millions of users can help developers test and improve the software. One of the most well-known open-source projects is Linux, a free operating system kernel built on top of the GNU operating system. Linux uses the GPL version 2 license. All open-source licenses are intended to govern how the software will be used. This includes:

Private Use: the freedom to use and change software for non-commercial purposes

Distribution: sharing for commercial or non-commercial use

Linking: linking to free and proprietary sources

Patent Grants: rights to intellectual property granted by the government

Sublicensing: an agreement in which the owner of something allows people to use their software to create new things so long as whatever they create is also distributed under GPL

Trademarks: a symbol or word that represents an organization or product

Open-Source Software vs Free Software

Just because software has an open-source license, does not mean it is free. It may be easy to interpret the term “open-source” to mean “free”. Both of these terms have complex definitions that are constantly changing. While all free software licenses are technically open-source, not all open-source licenses are free. Legal interpretations and enforcement of the terms and conditions contained in any given open-source license will depend on the legal jurisdiction protecting the copyright. It also depends on the country connected to that jurisdiction. The seeds of open-source licensing can be traced to free, copyleft licenses created in the United States during the 1980s. The creation of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) in 1998 has helped shape the landscape of the open-source software licensing today. The resource page lists lots of sources, with helpful definitions of key terms, organizational bodies, and historical landmarks related to open-source licensing.

If you have any questions about OSS, email Evan Eubanks:

Categories: Math and Stats


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