Haim Bar & Dipak K. Dey, University of Connecticut, report:

After a six-year hiatus, this year we renewed the Distinguished Statistician Colloquium Series. With generous funding from Pfizer, the American Statistical Association, and the Department of Statistics at UConn, the 24th colloquium in the series was held on September 26–27, 2018 and featured Professor Grace Wahba from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Prof. Wahba is renowned for her work in statistical theory and the development of efficient numerical and statistical methods for large data sets, and has developed methods with applications in biostatistics, weather prediction, machine learning, climate science, and more. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of IMS, ASA, SIAM, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Grace Wahba was interviewed by Dr. Hao Helen Zhang from the University of Arizona and Dr. Yoonkyung Lee from The Ohio State University.

The first day included a reception, a rehearsal colloquium and interview, and a banquet dinner. It was held at the Alumni Center, and was attended by many faculty members, Pfizer employees, and representatives from the New England Statistics Symposium (NESS). Introductions were given by Dr. Dipak Dey, UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Statistics, and Dr. Kannan Natarajan, Head of Global Biometrics and Data Management at Pfizer. Dr. Xiao-Li Meng, Professor of Statistics at Harvard University and Past President of the New England Statistical Society, delivered an entertaining speech and a toast before dinner. The colloquium—Pairwise Density Distances and Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces, and an approach to treating personal densities as attributes in a Smoothing Spline ANOVA model—and the interview were filmed on September 27 in UConn’s Dodd Research Center.

The videos will be added to the ASA YouTube channel in the near future.