Statistics paper wins UCT's first Sichel Medal

01 December 2008

Associate Professor Iain MacDonald of the School of Actuarial Science has become the first UCT academic to win the coveted Sichel Medal.

This is awarded annually by the South African Statistical Association for the best paper published the previous year in a peer-reviewed journal.

The medal was named after the late Professor Herbert Sichel, "one of the grand old men" of the association, in 1997.

MacDonald's research interests span applied probability; new time series models, especially for discrete-valued observations; hidden Markov models and their extensions, as well as stochastic volatility models in finance.

The SA Statistical Association awarded two medals this year: one to MacDonald, and the other to co-author Professor Walter Zucchini, a former UCT academic now at the University of Göttingen.

Their winning partnership began many years ago and has produced, inter alia, their 1997 book on hidden Markov models. More recently they collaborated on the book Hidden Markov Models for Time Series: An Introduction Using R, due for publication next year.

"We take great pride at Professor MacDonald's achievement in bringing home the Sichel Medal," Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Professor Melvin Ayogu, said.

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