International Astrostatistics Association

IMS Fellow G. Jogesh Babu of Pennsylvania State University, and member Joseph M. Hilbe of Arizona State University, have been awarded the International Astrostatistics Association (IAA) Outstanding Contributions to Astrostatistics medal, the top award given to members of the global astrostatistics and astroinformatics community by the IAA. Both were also elected IAA fellows, as was another IMS fellow, David van Dyk of Imperial College, London.

The International Astrostatistics Association was founded as an independent scientific association for astrostatistics and astroinformatics in 2012, developing from the International Statistical Institute astrostatistics committee and network. The goal of the association from its outset has been to foster collaboration between statisticians and astronomers. It also has a goal of encouraging the production of educational books, articles, white papers, and tutorials in statistics for the benefit of the astronomical community. See

Spiegelman receives Don Owen Award

The 2016 Don Owen Award, given by the ASA’s San Antonio Chapter, was presented to Clifford Spiegelman at the 36th annual Conference of Texas Statisticians. Cliff is a professor at Texas A&M University. He earned his doctoral degree in statistics from Northwestern University in 1976; taught at Florida State, Northwestern, and Johns Hopkins; and served as a scientist at the National Bureau of Standards for nine years before joining Texas A&M in 1987.

Doerge receives ACE Fellowship

Rebecca W. Doerge, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Statistics and President’s Fellow for Big Data and Simulation at Purdue, has been awarded Fellow of American Council of Education (ACE) for 2016–17. Each university nominates only one candidate who shows promise of being an academic leader for ACE fellowship. Read the list of fellows at

Dipak Dey appointed Editor-in-Chief of Sankhya

Professor Dipak K. Dey, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious scientific journal Sankhya, the Indian journal of statistics. Dipak is a former editor of the IMS Bulletin, and is a Fellow of IMS, ISBA and ASA, and an elected member of the ISI. He is a past-president of the International Indian Statistical Association and in 2014 received the Outstanding Statistician Award from the Connecticut chapter of the ASA.

Sankhya is published by The Indian Statistical Institute. The journal was founded by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in 1933 and is now published in two series, A and B, in collaboration with Springer. All submissions to Sankhya are now online, using:

For Series A:

For Series B:

Sankhya publishes research articles in the broad areas of theoretical statistics, probability and applied statistics. Series A primarily covers theoretical statistics and probability (including stochastic processes). Series B primarily covers all areas of applied statistics (including applied probability, applied stochastic processes, econometrics and statistical computing). Reviews and discussion articles in areas of current research activity are also published. Each volume has four parts: Series A issues are in February and August, Series B in May and November.

Army Wilks Award to Alyson Wilson

This year’s Army Wilks Award winner is Alyson Wilson, professor of statistics at North Carolina State University. The award—established to commemorate the career of Samuel S. Wilks and his service to the Army—is given to a deserving individual who has made a substantial contribution to statistical methodology and application affecting the practice or application of statistics to problems in defense and security. The Army Wilks Award is given periodically at the Conference on Applied Statistics in Defense (CASD), which was held October 19–22, 2015, at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Bin Yu to give keynote at Women in Statistics and Data Science conference

The Conference for Women in Statistics and Data Science (WSDS), organised by the ASA, is to be held October 20–22 in Charlotte, North Carolina. WSDS 2016 will bring hundreds of statistical practitioners and data scientists together in celebration of women in statistics and data science. The focus is to empower women statisticians, biostatisticians, and data scientists by exchanging ideas and presenting technical talks on important, modern, and cutting-edge research; discussing how to establish fruitful multidisciplinary collaborations; and showcasing the accomplishments of successful women professionals.

Registration is open now, and the housing deadline is September 20. Conference registration ends October 4. Travel awards are available: apply by August 8. Find out more about the conference at

One of the featured speakers at WSDS is Bin Yu (along with Cynthia Clark, Stacy Lindborg and Wendy Martinez). Bin was interviewed about her career in interdisciplinary statistics for Amstat News: you can read the article at

In the interview, Bin talks about four of her current projects. One of these, a long-term collaboration with biologists Erwin Frise and Sue Celniker of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) that uses novel spatial gene expression data to understand how organs are formed in the fruit-fly, was profiled in the Berkeley Lab news center (Mapping a Cell’s Destiny: New Berkeley Lab Tool Speeds Discovery of Spatial Patterns in Gene Networks, Bin has been working on this with her students Siqi Wu and Karl Kumbier and former postdocs Antony Joseph and Siva Balakrishnan; they also work with Wei Xu’s computer science team at Tshinghua University to scale up the computations by building upon open-source platforms Spark and Fiji.

She says, “This is my favorite data science project since it represents an iterative knowledge discovery process that is complete with wet-lab knockout experiments, statistical and machine learning methodology development, and software development for other groups to go after heterogeneous building blocks hidden in their data, spatial or not. This project also motivated exciting theoretical work on dictionary learning. The theoretical study has made us go back to practice for the next step of devising uncertainty measures. It would not have been possible without my amazing student, Siqi Wu.”

Bin Yu will also be giving this year’s Rietz Lecture: see the preview here.