Statistical Sciences department scoops top three awards

16 October 2006

"We're obviously leading the way," Professor Theo Stewart, honours programme convenor for statistical sciences, said about UCT's department of statistical sciences' recent achievement.

Miguel Lacerda, Susan Melmed and Timothy-John Daniel took first, second and third places, respectively, in the annual SAS-sponsored awards for the best honours-level statistics projects, with winners appointed by the South African Statistical Association (SASA).

SAS, a world leader in business intelligence and analytics software, shows its support for emerging statisticians with annual prize incentives. Zoë Golden of SAS said that they "are proud to be involved in tertiary institutions, especially UCT, and would like to be more involved in the future".

Lacerda won the award for his honours thesis Sequential Regression Multiple Imputation for Incomplete Multivariate Data. He said that the awards reflected the department's excellent honours programme.

Second place winner, Melmed, has also been asked to present her project at the SASA conference in November. She said it is the acknowledgement of the months of hard work that is most rewarding.

Another number-doctor, Daniel, sums up his feelings on winning with words borrowed from Cavett Robert; "The true reward of a thing well done is to have done it."

Daniel won the award for his thesis Modeling and Forecasting South African House Prices. He was also the joint winner of the Operational Research Society of South Africa (ORSSA) honours project competition for the same work.

All work entered into the competition is cleaned of personal references and names of universities before being submitted to adjudicators.

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