UTS professor receives prestigious science award for research in statistical science

Professor Matt Wand (Credit: Lisa Aloisio)

Professor Matt Wand (Credit: Lisa Aloisio)

In summary: 
  • The Australian Academy of Science's prestigious career awards are made to scientists for life-long achievement
  • The academy promotes excellence in Australian science, largely through through recognition of outstanding contributions to science, education and public awareness, science policy and international relations

UTS Distinguished Professor Matthew Wand has been awarded the 2013 Australian Academy of Science's Hannan Medal in Mathematical Sciences for his research in statistical science.  

Professor Wand was recognised for his outstanding contribution throughout his research career and the impact his work has had in Australia and internationally.

"I'm very pleased to be receiving recognition for statistical research by me and my collaborators," said Professor Wand.

"This award is an indication, that the research conducted by my team here at UTS is considered to be world class, meaningful and important."

Wand's current research is driven by data sets becoming bigger and more prevalent with the growth of technology such as the Internet. Statistics plays a key role in obtaining useful information from the massive amounts of data now being generated by science and industry.

"I'm interested in any application area that can benefit from data analysis," Professor Wand said.

"We create generic tools for analysis of data sets, regardless of the particular area of application. The development of these tools involves a combination of statistical modelling, computing and a good deal of ‘pen to paper’ mathematics.”   

Much of Professor Wand's work in regression modelling deals with data sets that don't conform to linear patterns. A current major research direction is modification of this methodology to enable analyses to be done in real time, in response to the increasing prevalence of streaming data.  Whilst the core of Wand's research is generic statistical methods and theory, he is motivated by applications and currently is involved in collaboration with UTS's ithree institute on cellular behaviours of bacterial biofilms.

This new work is a progression from Wand's mid-2000s research in statistical methods for flow cytometry, another data-rich area of biotechnology.

Over the years Wand has been involved in numerous scientific studies, addressing questions as diverse as "What are the main determinants of extreme rainfall events in the Sydney hinterland?" and "Does maternal stress predispose a child to atopy-asthma?"  Professor Attila Brungs, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) congratulated Professor Wand on his achievement.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment for Professor Wand, who has dedicated his career to mathematical science, expanding our theoretical knowledge and to ensuring that statistical breakthroughs can be applied to benefit our everyday lives,” Professor Brungs said.

"This award highlights the calibre of our world-leading researchers here at UTS and recognises the importance and impact of their research.”

All winners will receive their awards at the Academy's annual conference, Science at the Shine Dome, in Canberra this May.

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