G. Jogesh Babu, 2018 Jerome Sacks Award Recipient

The Jerome Sacks Award being presented to Jogesh Babu by Jim Rosenberger, Director NISS (left), Mary Batcher, Chair, NISS Board of Trustees (second from right), and David Banks, Director SAMSI (right)G. Jogesh Babu, 2018 Jerome Sacks Award Recipient

The Jerome Sacks Award is given for statistical leadership in cross-disciplinary research.

G. Jogesh Babu is this year’s award recipient.

“His vision and effort in building the field of astrostatistics is outstanding!” 

Mary Batcher, Chair, NISS Board of Trustees

Mary presented Jogesh’s contributions to research as part of the NISS – SAMSI – MBI reception held at JSM in Vancouver.

Mary's presentation listed some of the specific contributions Jogesh has made to the field of astrostatistics including:

  • a long list of quality papers in statistics, astronomical and astrophysical journals, going back to 1992, and seven edited books on astrostatistics;
  • leadership in the SAMSI programs on astrostatistics in 2006 and in 2012-2013;
  • organization of 14 summer schools on statistics for astronomers, in the U.S. and India, and seven major conferences on astrostatistics;
  • field-building through funding procurement, based on what I count as an astonishing 39 grants from the NSF and other agencies to support astrostatistics projects;
  • program organization for numerous conferences and special topic sessions;
  • a new partnership with the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) project in China, an international Big Data science initiative that will use significant statistical methodology to find large-scale structure;
  • leadership of an interdisciplinary team of astronomers, computer scientists and statisticians to develop methodology for the National Virtual Observatory, and leadership contributions in the Grid Data Mining for Astronomy program, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope program, the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), and the VOStat project within the Virtual Astronomical Observatory program.

His work has indeed created a new hybrid discipline.

As a part of this work, besides doing the science, he has importantly built essential relationships with astronomers. His summer schools have taught statistical skills to more than 420 astronomers, he has established a valued biennial astrostatistics conference, he has secured large amounts of funding from the NSF and various foundations, and he has recruited some of the best young statisticians to work in this field.

In addition, Jogesh’s long record of outstanding productivity and service to our profession shows no sign of slowing.  He continues to publish on resampling theory, quantiles, statistical models with Bernstein polynomials, the probabilistic number theory associated with Ewens' sampling formula, and goodness-of-fit tests. Many of these papers, especially those undertaken in the last 15 years, are motivated by or specifically relevant to applied problems in astrostatistics.

Jogesh Babu joins a long list of exceptional researchers that have won the Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research.  He is an outstanding statistician whose interdisciplinary work has created a new scientific field.

His citation reads:

"For his vision and dedication in helping to build the astrostatistics community for more than two decades, his commitment to young researchers in the field, and his research contributions to the analysis of astronomical data."

Congratulations Jogesh!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 by Glenn Johnson