Cognitive “Nobel” prize awarded to Michael Jordan

IMS Fellow Michael Jordan has been awarded the 2015 David E. Rumelhart Prize For Contributions to the Theoretical Foundations of Human Cognition, a prestigious $100,000 prize that is sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Cognitive Science”.
Michael Jordan 2014

Michael has pioneered some of the most highly cited and most influential computational models of learning, inference and control in both biological and machine systems. He is Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Statistics, and of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, at UC Berkeley. He holds a BS in Psychology from Louisiana State University, an MS in Mathematics and Statistics at Arizona State University, and a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego, earned under the supervision of David Rumelhart. After completing his degree in 1985, and a two-year postdoc at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Michael was appointed assistant professor at MIT in 1988. In 1998, he joined Berkeley’s Computer Science and Statistics Departments. Michael has received many honors, including his election as a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, as well as being named fellow of numerous professional organizations, including IMS and the Cognitive Science Society.
A more extensive profile of Michael’s pioneering work is on the Rumelhart Prize website, at

Susie Bayarri: 1956–2014

IMS Fellow M.J. Susie Bayarri passed away on August 19 in Valencia, Spain. Susie was a prominent Bayesian statistician, a former President of ISBA, and had just been made an ISBA Fellow (see below) before she died. She worked for most of her career at the University of Valencia, and held an adjunct professorship at Duke University’s ISDS. She was an IMS, ISBA and ASA Fellow, and an elected member of the ISI; she won the Frank Wilcoxon Award and Jack Youden Prize. Christian Robert described her “rich and contagious laugh” in his blog, and posted the affectionate poem Kerrie Mengersen performed at the ISBA Cancun cabaret, which contains the toast, “To Susie, Queen of Bayes!” A full obituary will appear in the next issue.

Terry Speed receives 2014 Sacks Award

Terry Speed is this year’s recipient of the 2014 NISS Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research. The citation commended him as “a pioneer in the development and application of statistical methods for the analysis of biomedical and genomic data. His work exemplifies the best of applied statistics in cross-disciplinary research and is notable for its creativity, rigor, and relevance.”

Karen Kafadar appointed to forensic panel

Karen Kafadar, who has just become professor and chair of the department of statistics at the University of Virginia, has been appointed to the US Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB). The panel of experts will identify and foster development and adoption of standards and guidelines for the nation’s forensic science community. Visit the National Institute for Standards of Technology website for more information.

New ISBA Fellows elected

ISBA, the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, has elected 17 new Fellows, all of whom are IMS members and/or fellows. Congratulations to: M. J. (Susie) Bayarri [who has just passed away: see above], Alicia Carriquiry, Merlise Clyde, Dipak Dey, David Draper, Stephen E. Fienberg, Edward I. George, Michael Jordan, Joseph B. Kadane, Kerrie Mengersen, Eugenio Regazzini, Sylvia Richardson, Christian Robert, Judith Rousseau, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Marina Vannucci, and Robert Wolpert. The fellows were presented at the International Society for Bayesian Analysis World Meeting, held in Cancún, Mexico, from 14–18 July, 2014.
43_06 ISBAfellows2014-group

ASA Fellows announced

The 2014 ASA Fellows were presented at JSM in Boston. Honorees are recognized for outstanding professional contributions to, and leadership in, the field of statistical science. Nineteen of them are IMS members and/or Fellows. We congratulate: Brian Scott Caffo, Catherine A. Calder, Joseph E. Cavanaugh, Jie Chen, Jeng-Min Chiou, Bertrand S. Clarke, Holger Dette, Paul Embrechts, Yulia R. Gel, Mark E. Glickman, Scott H. Holan, Lurdes Yoshiko Tani Inoue, Karunarathna Bandara Kulasekera, Nicole A. Lazar, Bin Nan, Philip B. Stark, Joshua M. Tebbs, Hansheng Wang, and Tian Zheng.

“On behalf of the ASA’s entire membership, I extend heartfelt congratulations to each of the 63 new ASA Fellows,” said ASA President Nathaniel Schenker. “These distinguished members have established themselves among the best in the world of statistical science. Their many accomplishments are far-reaching and contribute greatly to the advancement of statistical theory, methodology and applications, as well as to the ASA.”

Read the citations in the release.

John Stufken appointed at Arizona State University

John Stufken has joined the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS) at Arizona State University (ASU) as the Charles Wexler Professor in Statistics. ASU aims to build a strong statistics unit over the coming years. Plans are underway to elevate this unit into a statistics department under the umbrella of SoMSS. This effort will continue this year with two additional searches, one for an open rank position and the other for a junior tenure track position. Additional searches are planned for subsequent years.