Daniela Witten, professor of statistics and biostatistics at the University of Washington, and Dorothy Gilford Endowed Chair of Mathematical Statistics, has been selected to receive the American Statistical Association’s 2021 Leo Breiman Junior Award. The Breiman Award recognizes Witten’s outstanding contributions to statistical learning, computational statistics, and their practical applications.
Witten’s contributions to the field of statistical learning span methodology, theory, and application. Her research focuses on developing principled statistical ways to make sense of complex data sets, and in particular, high-dimensional data that is characterized by having more features than observations. She is also very interested in developing practical approaches to allow scientists to “safely” perform the types of analyses that they routinely conduct on their data, but that are not allowable from a classical statistical perspective.
Witten is also committed to the dissemination of key ideas in statistical machine learning to a broad audience. She is a co-author of the textbook "Introduction to Statistical Learning," originally published in 2013; the second edition will be released soon.
The Leo Breiman Award is presented every two years by the ASA to one senior scholar and one junior scholar based on outstanding theoretical or methodological contributions to machine learning and/or computational statistics, contributions which have made a substantial, sustained impact on the subject and on practical applications.
As an award recipient, Witten will receive a monetary prize and a plaque, and is invited to give an invited lecture at the Joint Statistical Meetings to be held in Seattle in 2021.