The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) has presented the 2011 Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research to Emery N. Brown, professor of health sciences and technology and computational neuroscience at MIT.
The award was announced at the 2011 Joint Statistical Meetings in Miami. The annual award, named in honor of Jerome (Jerry) Sacks, the founding director of NISS, was established in 2000 to recognize “sustained, high-quality cross-disciplinary research involving the statistical sciences.”
Brown is also the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in statistics from Harvard University, and is now an anesthesiologist-statistician whose research focuses on the development of signal processing algorithms to characterize how the patterns of electrical discharges from neurons in the brain represent information from the outside world.
In response to receiving the award, Brown stated that, “Cross-disciplinary work is a vital source for statistics. Cross-disciplinary questions pose new problems, with more challenging constraints than the ones we could ever imagine by our mathematical suppositions alone. These new problems and their solutions will dictate important parts of the theory and practices that will shape statistics into the future. We should make our contacts with other fields as broad as possible to insure that the sources of new ideas for statistics come from as many areas as possible.”
As Sacks award recipient, Brown receives $1,000, and his name is added to a plaque housed at NISS that lists all recipients of the award.