In June 2022, the King Baudouin Foundation awarded its first $1 million Rousseeuw Prize for Statistics to five statisticians, including two current University of Washington faculty, for their pioneering work on Causal Inference with Applications in Medicine and Public Health.
Among those sharing the prize were Andrea Rotnitzky , formerly with the Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Argentina and now a professor of biostatistics in the UW School of Public Health, and Thomas Richardson, a professor of statistics in the UW College of Arts & Sciences.
Half the award amount went to James Robins of Harvard University, who was recognized as having “either trained or deeply influenced the other four laureates, and with whom they collaborate to this day.”
“It is an immense honor to be recognized alongside such a remarkable group of laureates, whose contributions to the field I have long admired and respected. However, as elated as I was for myself, my initial thoughts were of my dear friend, mentor, and colleague Jamie Robins. He is undoubtedly one of the founding fathers of the modern field of causal inference,” said Rotnizky, who upon learning of the award, called Robins in the middle of the night to share the moment.
Aside from the personal implications, Rotnitzky was immensely gratified that the award recognized the field of causal inference.
“I am heartened to see how the field has grown exponentially within statistics in the last decades, especially considering that it was practically nonexistent within the discipline during my early days. I am hopeful that this award's recognition will inspire the next generation of researchers to become even more involved in the field and make further breakthroughs.”
Rotnitzky also hopes the recognition will inspire and encourage more women to pursue statistical careers.
“I believe that a diversity of voices and perspectives in the field of statistics is essential to the development of new methods and approaches that can help solve the most pressing challenges facing society today.”
More about Andrea Rotnitzky