Former Fellow Professor Grace Wahba honoured with IMS lectureship and award

Head and upper body shot of Dr Grace Whaba sat in front of a window.

A special lectureship and award have been set up in honour of St Cross former Fellow Professor Grace Wahba by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) - one of the largest statistical societies in the US. 

The Wahba Award and Lecture recognise Professor Wahba’s monumental contributions to statistics and science. These include her pioneering and influential work in mathematical statistics, machine learning and optimisation; broad and career-long interdisciplinary collaborations that have had a significant impact in epidemiology, bioinformatics and climate sciences; and outstanding mentoring during her 51-year career as an educator.

The inaugural Wahba award and lecture is planned for the 2022 IMS annual meeting in London.

Professor Grace Wahba is known as one of the outstanding statisticians of our age. She is the I.J. Schoenberg-Hilldale Professor Emerita of Statistics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

She has made fundamental contributions to mathematical and applied statistics, optimisation, and machine learning. Wahba’s RKHS theory plays a central role in nonparametric smoothing and splines, and its importance is widely recognised.

Professor Wahba’s work has led to fundamental breakthroughs in machine learning for solving problems arising in prediction, classification and cross-validation. She has paved a foundation for connecting theory and practice of function estimation, and has developed, along with her students, unified estimation methods, scalable algorithms and standard software toolboxes that have made regularisation approaches widely applicable to solving complex problems in modern science discovery and technology innovation.


Image: University of Wisconsin–Madison