UW News

October 30, 2008

Sir David Cox to present Biostatistics’ Breslow Distinguished Lecture

One of the seminal statistical thinkers of the 20th and 21st centuries, Sir David Cox, will present the Department of Biostatistics’ Norman E. Breslow Distinguished Lecture, titled The Theory of Statistics: Some Challenges, at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, in Hogness Auditorium, Health Sciences Center. 

A challenge for statistical theory is to provide concepts unifying ideas of study design and data analysis and interpretation as they arise across the wide range of fields in which statistical ideas play some role. To what extent is this challenge met? This broad question will be illustrated with examples from the physical and social sciences and from medical statistics and epidemiology. Professor Cox will touch on long standing issues about the nature of probability and of the relation between frequentist and Bayesian approaches to the formal theory of statistical inference.

Professor Cox is a former warden (1988 to 1994) and an honorary fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. He is a fellow and former member of Council of the Royal Society and was president of the International Statistical Institute from 1995 to 1997. He holds a number of awards, including honorary fellowships at St John’s College, Cambridge, and the British Academy, the Guy Medal (in Silver and in Gold) from the Royal Statistical Society, and the degree of D.Sc. from a number of universities. He has also been awarded the Weldon Memorial Prize, University of Oxford, and the Kettering Prize and Gold Medal for Cancer Research. He is a Foreign Honorary Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was editor of Biometrika from 1966 to 1991.

The Norman E. Breslow Distinguished Lectureship was established in 2006 to honor the instrumental scientific contributions of Norman E. Breslow in the Department of Biostatistics of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. The Lectureship is awarded annually to an individual who has made important contributions to the advancement of biostatistical methodology and its applications in the health sciences.

Former Breslow Lecturers include Mitchell H. Gail of the National Cancer Institute and David Clayton of Cambridge University. For more information, contact Sandra Coke at 206-685-9496 or sjcoke@u.washington.edu.