Professor of Statistics and Sociology, University of Washington, and 2012 Parzen Prize recipient


A prominent University of Washington statistician identified as the world's most cited researcher in mathematics for an entire decade (1995-2005) by Thomson-ISI will visit the Texas A&M University campus this week as the guest speaker for the biennial Emanuel Parzen Prize Lecture Series, sponsored by the Texas A&M Department of Statistics.

Adrian E. Raftery, a professor of statistics and sociology at Washington, will present a 4 p.m. public lecture Friday (April 26) in Room 1400 Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M campus as recipient of the 2012 Emanuel and Carol Parzen Prize for Statistical Innovation.

Raftery is cited "for pioneering, influential, and outstanding research in statistical theory, including developing methods for Bayesian hypothesis testing, Bayesian model selection, Bayesian model averaging, probabilistic forecasting, model-based clustering and classification, inference from computer simulation models, time series, and image analysis; leadership in applications of statistical methods to sociology, demography, environmental sciences, and health sciences."

As the current Parzen Prize winner, Raftery will present "Bayesian Reconstruction of Past Populations for Developing and Developed Countries." The presentation is free and open to the public.

In his talk, Raftery will describe Bayesian population reconstruction and a new method for estimating past populations by age and sex, with fully probabilistic statements of uncertainty, that simultaneously estimates age-specific population counts, vital rates and net migration from fragmentary data while formally accounting for measurement error. As inputs, Raftery says this method takes initial bias-corrected estimates of age-specific population counts, vital rates and net migration. The output is a joint posterior probability distribution which yields fully probabilistic interval estimates of past vital rates and population numbers by age and sex. It is designed for the kind of data commonly collected in demographic surveys and censuses and can be applied to countries with widely varying levels of data quality.

Raftery's research focuses on Bayesian model selection and Bayesian model averaging, model-based clustering, inference for deterministic simulation models, and the development of new statistical methods for sociology, demography, and the environmental and health sciences. He has published more than 100 refereed articles in statistical, sociological and other journals.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Raftery is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his significant honors is the 2011 ASA Award for Outstanding Statistical Application, the 2011 ASA Statistics in Chemistry Award, the Jerome Sacks Award for Outstanding Cross-Disciplinary Research for the National Institute of Statistical Sciences as well as the H.O. Hartley Memorial Lecturer at Texas A&M University.

Raftery earned his doctorate in mathematical statistics from the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in 1980. A member of the Washington faculty since 1990, he was founding director of the university's Center for Statistics and Social Sciences.

The Parzen Prize is named for Emanuel Parzen, distinguished professor of statistics, emeritus, at Texas A&M University. Established and first awarded in 1994 to recognize Parzen's 65th birthday, it is presented in even-numbered years to North American statisticians in recognition of outstanding careers in the discipline and profession of statistics. In addition to an invitation to deliver the Parzen Prize Lecture, recipients receive a citation and a $1,000 honorarium plus travel expenses.

For more information regarding the 2012 Parzen Prize Lecture, please contact the Department of Statistics at (979) 845-3141. Click here to view an online event program.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Emanuel Parzen

    Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Texas A&M University

  • Emanuel & Carol Parzen

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