We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 IMS Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award: Xin Bing, Department of Statistics and Data Science, Cornell University; Ilmun Kim, Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge (previously a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon); and Yichen Zhang, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University (previously a PhD student at Stern School of Business, New York University). They will deliver a paper at the 2021 JSM in Seattle.

Xin’s research interest generally lies in developing new methodology with theoretical guarantees to tackle modern statistical problems such as high-dimensional statistics, low-rank matrix estimation, multivariate analysis, model-based clustering, latent factor model, topic models, minimax estimation, and so on; he is also interested in applications of statistical methods to genetics, neuroscience, immunology and other areas. Xin said, “Receiving this award is not only a reward of the past work during my PhD study, but also an encouragement to pursue more research goals in the future.”

Ilmun’s research interests are broadly in the areas of high-dimensional statistics, nonparametric inference and statistical learning theory. Currently, his focus is on developing and understanding distribution-free and robust methods applied to hypothesis testing problems. He is also interested in asymptotic theory, concentration of measure and minimax theory as tools for resolving and understanding modern statistical problems. Commenting on the award, he said it was a “great honor,” adding, “I feel so grateful for this exceptional experience and I would like to sincerely thank my advisors and collaborators who have made this possible.”

Yichen’s research aims to address the challenges for modern types of data with new methodology developments lying on the interface between statistical inference, machine learning, and optimization. He designs technologies and methodologies in specific problems such as distributed learning, online stochastic optimization, and time series econometrics. He said, “Professor Brown set an admirable model for young statisticians. His dedicated contribution to the field great inspires my enthusiasm in many fields of theoretical and applied statistics. It is my greatest honor to receive the award. I will continue to pursue my academic career with meaningful and meritorious research.”

Donations are welcome to the IMS Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award Fund: https://imstat.org/shop/donation/