Two prominent statisticians -- one, a role model for women in the mathematical sciences, and the other, a father of biostatistical science -- will visit the Texas A&M University campus this week to participate in the annual Emanuel Parzen Prize Lecture Series, sponsored by the Texas A&M Department of Statistics.

As recipients of the 2008 Emanuel and Carol Parzen Prize for Statistical Innovation, Dr. Nancy Reid, University Professor of Statistics at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Marvin Zelen, Lemuel Shattuck Research Professor of Statistical Science at the Harvard University School of Public Health, each will present a public lecture Tuesday (May 13) after being recognized with their awards in a 9 a.m. ceremony in Room 158 Blocker on the Texas A&M campus.

Following an opening lecture, "United Applicable Statistics, Confidence Quantiles, Philosophy of Statistical Science, Statistical Education," by award namesake Dr. Emanuel Parzen, Texas A&M distinguished professor of statistics, Reid will present "Composite Likelihood Inference in Complex Models" at 10:45 a.m. Zelen will conclude 2008 lecture events with a 1:45 p.m. presentation entitled "The Early Detection of Disease and Stochastic Models." All presentations are free and open to the public.

Reid is cited "for leadership in statistical science, for outstanding research in theoretical statistics and highly accurate inference from the likelihood function, and for influential contributions to statistical methods in biology, environmental science, high energy physics and complex social surveys."

Zelen is recognized "for international leadership in statistical science and medical research, for mentoring biostatisticians and physicians, for advocating statistical research stimulated by problems from other disciplines, and for his inspiring leadership of Harvard Biostatistics, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Frontier Research Foundation."

Reid, who boasts an international reputation for outstanding achievements, received her degrees in 1974 (BMath University of Waterloo), 1976 (MSc University of British Columbia), and 1979 (PhD Stanford University). Some of her many accomplishments include the coveted Award of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (1992), Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) Wald Lecturer (2000) and election to Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2001). She also has been honored as president of both the Statistical Society of Canada and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, as well as vice president of the International Statistical Institute. A Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the American Statistical Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she is coauthor of a book, "Applied Asymptotics: Case Studies in Small Sample Statistics."

Zelen earned his current title as Lemuel Shattuck Research Professor of Statistical Science at Harvard University in 2007 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Harvard and the profession and discipline of biostatistical science. He earned degrees from the City College of New York (BS 1948), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (MA 1951) and the American University (PhD 1957). From 1952 to 1961, he was a statistician at the National Bureau of Standards (NIST) mentored by W.J. Youden and Churchill Eisenhart. From 1963 to 1967 he was Head of the Mathematical Statistics Section of the National Cancer Institute. From 1967 to 1977 he was a faculty member at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he not only pioneered the statistical laboratory for high impact collaboration between biostatistical science and cancer research, but also founded the Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation. Since 1977, he has directed extensive research programs at Harvard (Dana Farber Cancer Institute and School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics). Some of his honors include the Samuel S. Wilks Memorial Medal of the American Statistical Association (2006), and the title of Docteur Honoris Causa, Universite Victor Segalon Bordeaux II (2003). Additional honors include election as Fellow of the International Statistical Institute, American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Science.

The Parzen Prize is named for Emanuel Parzen, distinguished professor of statistics 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.

2008 Parzen Prize Lecture events will conclude with a 6:30 p.m. invitation-only banquet at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center celebrating both Parzen Prize winners as well as Parzen's career, which spans 60 years as a student of probability (1948), 55 years of teaching (Ph.D. at Berkeley 1953) and 30 years of service to Texas A&M University (joined faculty in 1978).

For more information regarding the 2008 Parzen Prize Lecture, please contact the Department of Statistics at (979) 845-3141. Click here to view an online schedule of events.


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

Washington Elaine

  • Dr. Nancy Reid

    University Professor of Statistics, University of Toronto

  • Dr. Marvin Zelen

    Lemuel Shattuck Research Professor of Statistical Science, Harvard University School of Public Health

  • Dr. Emanuel Parzen

    Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Texas A&M University

  • Emanuel & Carol Parzen

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