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UC professor wins prestigious statistics award

UC professor wins prestigious statistics award

University of Canterbury Professor Jennifer Brown, Head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, has won the 2017 Campbell Award of the New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA).

The Campbell Award is the 69-year-old association’s premier whole-of-career award, aimed at recognising an individual’s sustained contribution to the promotion and development of statistics. Winners must excel in at least one of the following areas: statistical research, statistics education, major contributions to New Zealand through statistical projects, and a sustained record of leadership in, and service to, statistics in New Zealand.

NZSA awards committee convenor Professor Martin Hazelton said Professor Brown had a strong case in all the award criteria.

“This year’s winner is a leading researcher in statistical ecology, has led an excellent teaching programme in statistics at the University of Canterbury, and has been a superb servant of the New Zealand Statistical Association, having served as President from 2008-2011 and Convenor of the Awards Committee for over ten years prior to that,” he said.

NZSA President Ian Westbrooke of DOC’s Science and Technical Group presented the award to Professor Brown at the NZSA’s joint conference with the International Association for Statistical Computing this week.

The NZSA, founded in 1948, is New Zealand’s only association for professional statisticians.

Professor Jennifer Brown

The first woman to head the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UC, Professor Jennifer Brown is also the Director of UC’s new programmes in Data Science and Master of Applied Data Science.

She has a degree in Forestry from UC and worked for the Forest Research Institute, Rotorua, researching silviculture of improved breeds of radiata pine. She then worked for eight years for the Department of Conservation (DOC), first in Westport as an ecological manager, and then in Christchurch in the Canterbury Conservancy as the Coastal and Marine Manager. During her time with DOC she undertook extramural study in statistics through Massey University, and graduated with a postgraduate diploma in science. She completed a PhD in statistics at Otago University.

She is an Associate Editor of Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics and Environmental and Ecological Statistics.

Professor Brown has a lifelong love of learning which saw her graduate with a postgraduate certificate in Strategic Leadership this time last year.

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