Carnegie Mellon University
June 06, 2017

Statistics Faculty Honors 2013

Stephen Fienberg, Rob Kass and Larry Wasserman from Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Statistics & Machine Learning were honored at the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) — the largest gathering of statisticians held in North America.

JSM was jointly held in Montreal, Canada, Aug. 3-8, 2013 by the ASA, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the International Biometric Society, the International Chinese Statistical Association, the International Indian Statistical Association, the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, the Korean International Statistical Society, and the Statistical Society of Canada.

This year (2013) has been designated the "International Year of Statistics" to highlight the central importance of statistics in managing a 21st-century data overload.

To celebrate his 70th birthday, two special sessions were held in honor of Stephen E. Fienberg, the Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Science: "Would the Real Steve Fienberg Please Stand Up: Getting to Know a Population from Multiple Incomplete Files" and "Session in Honor of 70th Birthday of Stephen E. Fienberg and His Nearly 50 Years of Statistical Practice." Fienberg is also a faculty member of the Machine Learning Department, Cylab and i-Lab.

Robert E. Kass, professor of statistics with additional appointments in the Machine Learning Department and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, received the Outstanding Statistical Application Award from the American Statistical Association (ASA). The award recognizes the authors of a paper, published within the past two years, that demonstrates an outstanding application of statistics in any substantive field according to impact in the field and novelty of statistical treatment of the problem. Kass was honored for "Assessment of Synchrony in Multiple Neural Spike Trains Using Loglinear Point Process Models," which was co-authored with Ryan Kelly of Google and Wei-Liem Loh of National University of Singapore. The paper solved the fundamental and challenging problem of assessing precisely-timed coincident firing of two or more neurons.

Statistics Professor Larry Wasserman, who also has an appointment in the Machine Learning Department, was invited to give the annual Reitz Lecture, which serves to clarify the relationship of statistical methodology and analysis to other fields. Wasserman's talk, "Topological Inference," focused on the problem of inferring geometric and topological features of point clouds and functions for things such as estimating clusters and manifolds, filaments detection and ridge estimation.

Fienberg & Kass photos courtesy of American Statistical Association.
 photo courtesy of Institute of Mathematical Statistics.