Two fifth-year doctoral students, Joseph Feldman and Zijian Zeng, are winners of the 2023 James R. Thompson Student Award in Statistics (STAT) at Rice University.
The award goes to current students performing outstanding pre-thesis research judged on the basis of promise, publications, awards and other scholarly achievements. Each award carries a $1,000 prize. Feldman and Zeng have published papers in Archives of Applied Statistics and Bayesian Analysis, respectively.
Feldman recently won a 2023 best paper award from the American Statistical Association in the Bayesian Statistical Science category. Last year, Zeng was named a runner-up in the Statistical Methods in Imaging student contest.
Feldman is advised by Daniel Kowal, Dobelman Family Assistant Professor of STAT, and Zeng by Meng Li, Noah Harding Assistant Professor of STAT, and Marina Vannucci, Noah Harding Professor of STAT.
The award committee was chaired by Marek Kimmel, professor of STAT and associate department chair. Feldman and Zeng will formally receive their award during the 2023 James R. Thompson Distinguished Lecture on Jan. 30.
The award is named for the late James Thompson, who joined the Rice faculty in 1970 and retired after 46 years. In 1987, STAT moved from the mathematics science department to the school of social sciences and became a separate department with Thompson as the founding chair. The department moved to the George R. Brown School of Engineering in 1990.