Each year in the fall, the Department of Statistics awards talented graduate students the Z.W. Birnbaum award and the Dorothy M. Gilford teaching award. The Z.W. Birnbaum award recognizes a PhD student for demonstrating outstanding progress and promise in theoretical, methodological, or applied research on the basis of their General Examination, while the Dorothy M. Gilford teaching award recognizes outstanding performances by a graduate teaching assistant during the past year.

We are proud to announce the 2022-23 award recipients.

Z.W. Birnbaum award recipients:

“Nick Irons did an excellent general exam. His work is of very high quality. He presented two papers from his dissertation, and a brief outline of the third. He explained the work very clearly and well. He handled questions with mastery and showed himself to be on top of the subject. This was one of the best general exams I have attended in recent years.” – Adrian Raftery, Professor

“What strikes me about Seth's research as expressed in his exam are his vision and his creativity. He has a clear vision of providing a suite of tools that together address the problems of estimating parameters of natural selection in cases in which that selection has been operating recently (the last few thousand years). He demonstrates great creativity in the tools that he has been developing to address each of the components of this suite of tools. His presentation very clearly presented his vision and did a good job of presenting complex ideas without getting bogged down in the details. It was an exceptionally good general exam.” – Sharon Browning, Research Professor

Dorothy M. Gilford teaching award recipient:

“I am pleased to nominate Harshil Desai for the Dorothy Gilford award for Excellence in Teaching. I have worked with Harshil for 5 quarters, both as a TA for STAT 311 and also the STAT 340 series. Over the course of these appointments, I have always been impressed by his level of professionalism and also his calm demeanor.” – Ranjini Grove, Associate Teaching Professor

About Z.W. Birnbaum and Dorothy M. Gilford and the awards honoring them:

The Z.W. Birnbaum award was established in 1986 in honor and recognition of Dr. Zygmunt Wilhelm Birnbaum. He was a UW Professor, statistician, and mathematician who contributed to functional analysis, nonparametric testing and estimation, probability inequalities, survival distributions, competing risks, and reliability theory.

The Dorothy M. Gilford teaching award was established in 1992 in honor and recognition of Dr. Dorothy Morrow Gilford. She was a statistician who headed the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the Office of Naval Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences.