Members of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) are pleased to announce the 2014 awards, which were presented to the winners at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston, Massachusetts, by COPSS Chair Jane Pendergast.

The winner of the Presidents’ Award is Martin J. Wainwright of the University of California, Berkeley, for fundamental and groundbreaking contributions to high-dimensional statistics, graphical modeling, machine learning, optimization and algorithms covering deep and elegant mathematical analysis as well as new methodology with wide-ranging implications for numerous applications.

The 2014 Fisher Lecturer was Grace Wahba of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, for groundbreaking fundamental contributions to many areas of statistics, including time series, splines, smoothing, nonparametric statistics, likelihood estimation and density estimation, and to interdisciplinary areas including climatology, epidemiology, bioinformatics and machine learning; and for her work in reproducing kernel Hilbert space representation and generalized cross-validation, which have become standard practice in scientific research and industry. Her lecture was titled “Positive Definite Functions, reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces, and All That.”

The Elizabeth L. Scott Award was presented to Kathryn Chaloner of the University of Iowa, for her commitment and success in developing programs to encourage and facilitate women to undertake careers in statistics; for extensive mentoring of women students and young faculty; for work to identify and remove inequities in employment for underrepresented components of the profession; and for serving as a role model, balancing work and family while excelling as a teacher, researcher, and academic administrator.

These awards are jointly sponsored by COPSS founding partner members: ASA, IMS, ENAR, WNAR and SSC. Award criteria and nominating procedures are available at

Pictured below: Martin J. Wainwright (Presidents’ Award); Grace Wahba (Fisher Lecturer) and Kathryn Chaloner (Elizabeth Scott Award). Photos courtesy of Eric Sampson, ASA.
2014 COPSS Presidents' Award winner Martin Wainwright

2014 Fisher Lecturer Grace Wahba

2014 Elizabeth Scott Award winner Katherine Chaolner