11 November 2014

Steffen Lauritzen, new professor in statistics


The Dean has appointed Steffen L. Lauritzen professor of statistics at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, UCPH.

Professor Steffen L. Lauritzen Steffen L. Lauritzen is an internationally highly recognized statistician who has made profound contributions to a broad range of areas in statistical science. He is one of the leading experts in the world on graphical models, a very active research field at the boundary between statistics and computer science. He has contributed centrally to the foundation of the field and to its development. In 1996 he published the fundamental monograph in his research area, knowledge of which is a prerequisite for serious theoretical research on graphical models and Bayesian networks.

Steffen Lauritzen's prominent position as a researcher has been recognized by his election as a fellow of the Royal Society (2011) and as a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (2008). He is also an Honorary Fellow of the British Royal Statistical Society, and he has received the Royal Statistical Society's Guy Medal in Silver. Moreover, Lauritzen has been selected to give a number of highly prestigious plenary lectures at international scientific conferences, including the Laplace lecture in 2004 and the Wald Lectures at the 8th World Congress in Probability and Statistics in 2012. He has been on the editorial board of leading journals in statistics and probability, has been Editor-in-Chief of the Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, and has been a member of several programme and advisory committees.

Graphical models

Lauritzen's research covers a wide range of areas in statistics and its applications. His work on extreme point models is a profound and fundamental contribution to theoretical statistics. He has also made important contributions to the geometric understanding of statistical estimation theory by introducing and studying the notion of a statistical manifold as a Riemannian manifold with a pair of affine connections, conjugate with respect to the metric.

Other important research contributions are to general statistical theory, statistical algorithms, and the theory of causal inference. The area where his research has had the broadest and most direct impact is the area of graphical models, where the interrelationship between a potentially large number of variables is described through the use of mathematical graphs.

Back to Copenhagen

Steffen L. Lauritzen obtained the M.Sc. (cand. stat.) degree in statistics in 1972, the Ph.D. (lic. stat.) degree in 1975, and the D.Sc. degree in 1982, all from the University of Copenhagen. His first employment was at the Department of Mathematical Statistics, University of Copenhagen, in 1972-1974 as research fellow, in 1974-1976 as assistant professor and in 1976-1981 as associate professor.

He was a professor at Aalborg University 1981-2004, and he was professor of statistics and professorial fellow at Jesus College, University of Oxford 2004-2014. He has had visiting positions at Stanford University, University of Western Australia, University of Rome, Flinders University of Southern Australia, University of Paris XI at Orsay, University of Cambridge, IMPA, Rio de Janeiro, Universita Luigi Bocconi, and the Fields Institute, Toronto.

We are happy and proud to have been able to attract Professor Steffen Lauritzen to the Department of Mathematical Sciences.