Longstanding RSS fellow and Guy medallist in silver, Kanti Mardia, is to fund a grants programme supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary workshops.
The Mardia Prize, as it will be known, has just been endorsed by the RSS Council. It will comprise a grant of £3-4k per year over a two-year period, made available via the Royal Statistical Society, and will support an individual or department to organise two annual workshops bringing scientists and statisticians together to help develop a new interdisciplinary area and maintain a sustained focus.
Professor Mardia, currently senior research professor at the University of Leeds and visiting Professor at the University of Oxford, was awarded the RSS Guy medal in silver in 2003 for his 'many pathbreaking contributions to statistical science' and is also a recent recipient of the American Statistical Association's prestigious Wilks Memorial Medal (pictured above). He founded and is still the driver of the Leeds Annual Statistical Research (LASR) workshops, which he believes have been beneficial in developing cutting edge-work, and hopes the Mardia Prize will enable organisers to invite high quality overseas presenters for a programme of events or perhaps to leverage other funding to organise a bigger event.
Peter Diggle, president of the RSS, said: 'I would like to add my personal thanks to Professor Kanti Mardia for his exceptional generosity in funding this prize. Kanti himself has been a great champion of statistical research that connects with other areas of scientific research, and has exemplified this in his own work. I would argue that such connections always have been, and will continue to be, essential for the enduring vitality of the statistics discipline.'
A working group, including representatives from the Society's Research Section, is in the process of being established. The prize will be advertised this summer, with the inaugural award made in the autumn and work starting in early 2016. Further information about the prize will be published on the RSS main website in due course.