The Constance van Eeden Fund

About the Fund

The Constance van Eeden Fund for Honouring Distinguished Achievement in Statistics was established in 1998, through the generosity of Dr. van Eeden. The Fund has been established to promote learning in Statistical Science, to recognize distinguished statistical scholars at all levels, and to celebrate extraordinary achievement in the discipline. It is to be used in ways consistent with the Strategic Plan to help the Department of Statistics achieve the shared vision of its staff, students, and faculty.

The fund is intended to promote a variety of activities, specifically the Statistician in Residence program, a lecture program, a summer school program, admissions awards, and graduate student-invited speakers. 

  • The Statistician in Residence program:  This program will bring visitors to the Department for a week or more. The visitor would have demonstrated exceptional accomplishment or potential for such accomplishment by the academic and professional criteria by which success is judged in the discipline of Statistics.
  • A lecture program:  A visitor of great international distinction would visit the Department of Statistics for a period of about one week.
  • A West Coast Summer School in Statistics program:  The school could be designed for graduate students, undergraduate students, or secondary school students.
  • Admissions Awards:  These awards would recognize outstanding achievement while enabling the Department to be more competitive in the international competition for prospective graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows.
  • Graduate Student invited speaker:  Each year, Statistics graduate students choose a prominent statistician to give a seminar in the Department.  The students invite the visitor and organize the visit.

About Dr. van Eeden

Dr. van Eeden has made and continues to make important contributions in a wide range of areas, including estimation in restricted parameter spaces, decision theory, nonparametrics, and selection procedures. She is a Fellow in the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. She contributed to the development of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Montreal. That department has honoured her by establishing the Prix Constance van Eeden, given annually to the best graduating BSc student in Statistics or Actuarial Science. Dr. van Eeden has supervised more than a dozen PhD students and eighteen MSc students. The UBC Statistics Department is fortunate to have Dr. van Eeden spend each fall in the Department. And the Department is honoured that Dr. van Eeden has entrusted it with administration of the Fund.

Supported Activities

In January 2016, the Department of Statistics' graduate students hosted Dr. Art Owen from Stanford University. This talk was supported by the van Eeden fund, the Department of Statistics, and PIMS. A video of the event (recorded by PIMS) and slides from the talk are available here.

In September 2015, the Department of Statistics' faculty hosted Dr. Roger Cooke, Chauncey Starr Chair for Risk Analysis, Resources for the Future. Professor Cooke gave two lectures:  "Vine Regression", and "Structured Expert Judgment and Invasive Species in the Great Lakes".

In March 2015, the Department of Statistics' graduate students hosted Dr. Peter Guttorp from the University of Washington. Professor Guttorp gave a talk called "Projecting the Uncertainty of Sea Level Rise Using Climate Models and Statistical Downscaling", which was filmed by PIMS.

In March 2014, the Department of Statistics' graduate students hosted Dr. Rob Tibshirani from Stanford University. The topic of Professor Tibshirani's talk was "The Lasso: a brief review and a new significance test", and the event was jointly supported by the van Eeden Fund, the Department of Statistics, and PIMS.

In January 2013, The Department of Statistics hosted Dr. Gavin Shaddick of the University of Bath, UK. Dr. Shaddick gave a lecture entitled  'Pumps, Maps and Pea Soup: Spatio-temporal methods in environmental epidemiology', which was the inaugural lecture for a one-term special topics graduate course in Statistics that the Department of Statistics offered in term 2.  It was given by Dr. Shaddick and Dr. James Zidek (Statistics Emeritus).

In February 2013, Statistics graduate students hosted Professor Miguel Hernan of the Department of Epidemiology and Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health.  The talk was so well attended, it had to be broadcast into a nearby overflow room.  The talk was entitled 'Epidemiologic methods are useless. They can only give you answers'.

In February, 2012, Statistics graduate students hosted Prof Michael Jordan (UC Berkeley Computer Science and Statistics),  and kept him busy with individual meetings, lunch, dinner and departmental tea.  He spoke on Statistics and Computation in the Age of Massive Data.

In the spring of 2011, the Statistics graduate students hosted the visit of Professor Jianqing Fan of Princeton University.  Professor Fan gave a seminar entitled "Refitted Cross-validation in Ultrahigh Dimensional Regression" on March 15 2011.

In the fall of 2010, Professor Xiao-Li Meng of Harvard University gave three lectures.  
  •  Trivial Mathematics but Deep Statistics: Simpson's Paradox and Its Impact on Your Life Abstract (1 October 2010)
  •  The Making of Sexy Statistics and Statisticians: Some Recent Harvard Experiments Abstract (4 October 2010)
  •  30 Years of Bootstrap and Multiple Imputation: Joint Replications versus Conditional Replications Abstract (5 October 2010)

In the summer of 2010, the Statistics graduate students hosted the visit of Professor Hongkai Ji of Johns Hopkins University.  Professor Ji gave a seminar entitled "Joint Analysis of Multiple Genome-wide Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Experiments" Abstract on June 3, 2010.

In the fall of 2009, Professor Graciela Boente of the University of Buenos Aires, Department of Mathematics and "Instituto de Calculo" gave a lecture on:In the fall of 2009, Professor Graciela Bouente of the University of Buenos Aires, Department of Mathematics and "Instituto de Calculo" gave a lecture on:

  • Robust estimators in functional principal components Abstract.
In the summer of 2009, the Statistics graduate students hosted a visit by Andrew Gelman, Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.  Professor Gelman gave two lectures

  • Creating structured and flexible models: some open problems Abstract (June 8 2009).
  • Culture wars, voting and polarization: divisions and unities in modern American politics Abstract (June 8, 2009).

In the spring of 2007, Professor Michael Woodroofe, L.J. Savage Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan gave two lectures at UBC on:                                                                     

  •  Shape Restricted Estimation in the Search for Dark Matter Abstract.
  •  A Kiefer Wolfowitz Comparison Theorem for Wicksell’s Problem Abstract.

In the fall of 2006, Professor Jean Opsomer of Iowa State University gave two lectures, one at UBC and one jointly with Simon Fraser University. The first lecture was an introductuction to estimation for natural resource surveys, the second lecture, a specialized lecture on variance estimation for systematic samples using nonparametric methods. Jean Opsomer is well known for his work on additive models and on applications to environmental problems, including his recent work in natural resource surveys.

In the fall of 2004, Professor Jim Ramsay of McGill University and Adjunct Professor in the UBC Department of Statistics presented a two day workshop on Functional Data Analysis. The workshop was also supported by the Statistics Department of Simon Fraser University.

In October 2003, Professor Mark van der Laan of University of California, Berkeley gave a lecture on:

  •  Cross-Validated Deletion/Substitution/Addition Algorithms in Regression (Abstract).

In September 2003, Professor Chris Chatfield of the University of Bath, UK gave a lecture on:

  • Time-Series Forecasting in the New Millennium (Abstract).

In Spring 2002, the Department welcomed Professors Michael Newton and Christina Kendziorski from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose visits were supported by the fund's Lecture Program. Besides interacting with faculty members and graduate students in the department, Professors Newton and Kendziorski gave lectures:

  • Nonparametric Bayes approaches to infer mixing distributions
    Michael Newton in Statistics Workshop.
    Abstract (26 March 2002)
  • Mapping Physiological Mechanism to the Genome: A Mathematical Modeling Approach
    Christina Kendziorski in BRG Seminar
    Abstract (27 March 2002)
  • On Modeling Genomic Aberrations in Cancer Cells
    Michael Newton in BRG Seminar
    Abstract (28 March 2002)

During the fall of 1999, the Department welcomed Professor William Strawderman, whose visit was supported by the Fund's Statistician in Residence program. Professor Strawderman gave a series of seminars and lectures. See the seminar series for further information.

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