Department of Statistics Receives Recognition

Christopher K. Wikle
Kristi Galloway
News Source: 
College of Arts & Science

Statistics for Spatio–Temporal Data Receives DeGroot Prize
Christopher K. Wikle, professor of statistics, and Noel A. Cressie, adjunct professor of statistics at MU and distinguished professor of statistics at the University of Wollongong, Australia, just received the DeGroot Prize from the International Society for Bayesian Analysis for their book, Statistics for Spatio–Temporal Data. The award is given to the author or authors of a published book in statistical science that has a significant impact on the field.

Statistics for Spatio–Temporal Data addresses fundamental issues surrounding statistical science for data collected over space and time. The book places a strong emphasis on temporally dynamic spatial–statistical modeling. Associate Professor Scott Holan says, “The monograph is truly multidisciplinary, drawing on disciplines such as environmental science, ecology, and meteorology to illustrate the methodology.” The book presents a systematic approach to key quantitative techniques that incorporate the latest advances in statistical computing and modeling.

Wikle is proud of the book and thankful for the award. He says, “This is really the first book that has taken spatial–temporal statistical methodology and put it all together in one place.” The book is regarded as one of the best statistics resources available.  James S. Clark, of Duke University, says, “Cressie and Wikle bridge the gap between applied science and modern inference. This book is a must for any environmental scientist or engineer engaged in modeling and computation."

The Society for Bayesian Analysis was founded to promote the development and application of Bayesian analysis, which provides useful solutions to theoretical and applied problems in science, industry, and government.

Wikle Appointed to Science Statistics Board of Reviewing Editors
In addition to the recent praise for his book, Wikle was also named one of five inaugural members of the Statistics Board of Reviewing Editors by Science. The journal is adding an extra round of statistical checks to its peer-review process to ensure all statistics published in the journal are accurate. The policy follows similar efforts from other journals, after widespread concern that basic mistakes in data analysis make many published research findings nonreproducible.

Wikle was appointed to the board by the American Statistical Association. His specialty is in environmental science, so he will be reviewing for accuracy any articles related to his area. “I believe this is really something that our profession needs to do to make sure people aren’t misusing statistical tools,” Wikle says.  “I think it’s up to us to maintain the integrity of the science, and I’m honored to be a part of this inaugural board.”

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