Professor Nancy Reid

Professor Nancy Reid

Department of Statistics

Appointed a University Professor in 2003

Professor Reid is internationally known as a leading statistical scientist whose work has had major impact in the area of theoretical statistics. This difficult area of research uses techniques from many areas of mathematics, and integrates applications of statistical inference into these techniques. The overarching goal is to develop theory that leads to more accurate and efficient methods of statistical analysis, which in turn allows researchers in many fields to exploit the full potential of their experimental data.

Two of her works have been particularly influential. In 1987, her paper with Sir David Cox on orthogonal parameters and approximate conditional inference was read to the Royal Statistical Society. This very important contribution to the fabric of statistical theory introduced notions of parameter orthogonality to develop and extend conditional inference, and derived the "Cox-Reid likelihood", still a standard method for correcting the likelihood in complex problems. This paper has been and continues to be widely cited, and has led to considerable further research by Reid and others. She has also developed new methods for obtaining highly accurate inference from the likelihood function, in a joint research program with Professor Emeritus D.A.S. Fraser. This extends and develops ideas first promoted by Fisher in the 1930s and has led to deeper understanding of the foundations of statistical inference.

Professor Reid's excellence in research has been internationally recognized. She was the first woman and first resident Canadian to receive the Presidents' Award of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies, one of the most prestigious international awards in statistical science. In 1995 she was the first recipient of the Canadian Mathematics Society's Krieger-Nelson Prize Lectureship and in 2000 she was invited to give the Wald lectures, the most important invited lecture series in theoretical statistics. Professor Reid is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and of the American Statistical Association.

Professor Reid has played a remarkable leadership role at both national and international levels. Nationally, she has served with distinction on committees of NSERC, the Statistical Society of Canada, the Fields Institute, the Banff International Research Station, le Centre de Recherches Mathématiques, the MITACS Network Centre of Excellence, and internationally with the American Statistical Association, Bernoulli Society and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. She has served as a Member of NSERC Council, as President of the Institute of Mathematics Statistics and as Vice-President of the International Statistical Institute. In addition, Professor Reid has served the University with distinction on many committees and in various roles, including as Chair of the Department of Statistics from 1987-2002. She has been a very active teacher and supervisor of students and has taught across a wide spectrum of the statistical curriculum.

Professor Reid received her B.Math. from the University of Waterloo in 1974, her M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia in 1976 and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1979. From 1980 to 1986 she held a position at the University of British Columbia. She has been a member of the University of Toronto since 1986 when she joined the Department of Statistics as an Associate Professor.

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