IMS Fellow Alastair Scott has been awarded the Jones Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) for his lifetime contribution to statistics.
The medal selection committee acknowledged that Professor Scott is a world leader in survey sampling theory and analysis of case control studies. His methods are used in many applications and he has also contributed substantially to research in public health. His work has particular relevance to obtaining reliable data from sampling, developing effective and simple methods that can take account of survey design features and deal with missing data.
His 1981 paper on categorical survey data was recognized as one of the 19 landmark papers in survey sampling by the International Association of Survey Statisticians in their 2001 Centenary volume. These methods, developed with Professor Rao, called Rao–Scott adjustments, are widely used and incorporated in several software packages for survey data analysis. In addition to developing a large body of novel and important statistical methodologies, he has been an advisor to official agencies nationally and internationally.
On receiving the Medal, Professor Scott said: “I feel very honoured to receive the Jones Medal named in honour of [New Zealand’s] most celebrated mathematician, Sir Vaughan Jones,” recalling that he had taught Jones in 1972.
Scott is a Fellow of the RSNZ, ASA, IMS and the Royal Statistical Society. He is an Honorary Life Member of the New Zealand Statistical Association and received its premier award, the Campbell Prize in 2012. In 2006 he received the ASA/SSC Waksberg Award for outstanding contributions to survey methodology.