Outstanding Statistical Application Award

Edoardo M. Airoldi

Edoardo M. Airoldi

Harvard University


Jonathan M. Bischof

Harvard University

For their novel development of a scalable topic-modeling framework to summarize a massive corpus of D documents in terms of K latent topics (mixture components) using, as one example, The New York Times corpus of over 1.8 million documents with more than 2 billion word counts. Their paper, titled “A Regularization Scheme on Word Occurrence Rates That Improves Estimation and Interpretation of Topical Content,” was published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association in 2015.

About the Award

The Outstanding Statistical Application Award was established in 1986 to recognize the authors of papers that demonstrate an outstanding application of statistics in any substantive field. Award recipients are presented with an engraved award and $1,000 that is divided evenly among the winners. The award is given annually if an eligible and worthy work is nominated.

Selection Criteria

The Outstanding Statistical Application Award is bestowed upon a distinguished individual or individuals based on the following criteria:

  • The impact of the statistical application in addressing a significant problem in a substantive field
  • The ingenuity and or novelty of the statistical treatment of the problem

Eligible work includes papers, monographs, reports, and other substantive evidence appearing two years prior to the presentation of the award. All nominated work must have been subject to external peer review and, preferably, formal refereeing.

Award Recipient Responsibilities

The award recipient(s) are responsible for providing a current photograph and general information, along with permission to reprint the work in ASA promotional materials.


Nominations are due by March 1, and the award is presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings in August the same year.

Nominations should include a letter that carefully describes the paper’s significance, particularly its impact on the substantive field, along with a copy of the nominated work. Nominations should be sent to awards@amstat.org or mailed to the American Statistical Association, attention Awards Nominations, 732 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.


Please contact the committee chair.

Recent Award Recipients

2015: Anne R. Cappola, Leslie J. Crofford, Wensheng Guo, and Ziyue Liu for “Modeling Bivariate Longitudinal Hormone Profiles by Hierarchical State Space Models,”, published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association in 2014.
2014: Christopher R. Bilder, Christopher S. McMahan, and Joshua M. Tebbs for “Two-Stage Hierarchical Group Testing for Multiple Infections with Application to the Infertility Prevention Project,” published in Biometrics in 2013.
2013: Robert E. Kass, Ryan C. Kelly, and Wei-Liem Loh for “Assessment of Synchrony in Multiple Neural Spike Trains Using Loglinear Point Process Models,” published in The Annals of Applied Statistics in 2011.
2012: Chae Young Lim and Sarat C. Dass for “Assessing Fingerprint Individuality Using EPIC: A Case Study in the Analysis of Spatially Dependent Marked Processes,” published in Technometrics in 2011.
2011: Adrian E. Raftery, Miroslav Kárný, and Pavel Ettler