The Chernoff Excellence in Statistics Award

The Chernoff Excellence in Statistics Award

NESS has created and funded The Chernoff Excellence in Statistics Award on the occasion of Herman Chernoff's 95th birthday to honor his outstanding, long-term contributions to the field of statistics. These contributions include work on large sample theory, experimental design, sequential analysis, methods of presenting statistical data in visual form, and statistical decision making. The annual New England Statistics Symposium was established in 1987 at the suggestion of Herman, which ultimately led to the establishment of NESS as a professional society in 2017. NESS is envisioned to be an engine to mobilize the abundant pedagogical and research resources in the New England area and beyond and to promote and sustain the growth and expansion of statistics as one of the fundamental pillars of data science.





2023 Nan Laird The Power of a Good Book: Elementary Decision Theory by Chernoff and Moses
2022 Nitis Mukhopadhyay A Slow Dance from Andrey Markov's Inequality to Herman Chernoff's Inequality and Bound: My Memories in a Rear-View Mirror
2021 Stuart Geman On the Personalization of Medical Therapies Models for Drug Selection, Dosage & Administration
2019 Shaw-Hwa Lo Interaction-based Variables Selection and Big Data Prediction

Award Committee

The committee is composed of at least three members, including at least one student or academia descendant of Herman. Each committee member serves a minimum term of 3 years. New members will be nominated by current committee members and appointed by the NESS Council. New appointments will be made on a regular basis to avoid all committee members leaving at the same time and to ensure at least one existing committee member to continue his or her service for at least one more year. The responsibility of the committee includes (but not limited to) voting on the award recipient, fundraising for the award, and governing of the award fund.

Current committee members: Joseph C. Cappelleri, James MacDougall, Junxian Geng, Mark Vangel, Bushi Wang.

Criteria of the Award Recipient

The Chernoff Excellence in Statistics Awards is the most prestigious award bestowed by the NESS, given to an individual who, in the tradition of Herman Chernoff's work, has made exceptional contributions to the theory, methodology, or novel applications of statistics and/or data science.

The Chernoff Excellence in Statistics Award is awarded to one recipient every year at the New England Statistics Symposium with travel expenses covered plus a minimum $500 honorarium to recognize the researcher's significant contribution to the field of statistical science.


Nomination for the award is to be submitted by January 15 each year. The procedure for nominating an individual for the Chernoff Excellence in Statistics Award is as follows.

Award Recipient Responsibilities

The award recipient is responsible for providing a current photograph and general personal information the year the award is presented. The New England Statistical Society will use this information to publicize the award and to prepare the check and award certificate.

The award recipient will also be asked to deliver a lecture at the New England Statistical Society's annual meeting.


The award fund is set aside and governed by the NESS Council and the award committee. Funding raised for the purpose of the Herman Chernoff Award is not to be used for other activities of NESS. NESS Council may transfer the general fund of the organization to the award fund, but not vice versa. A separate log for fundraising and distribution of the award is kept by the treasurer of NESS Council.


Fundraising activity is conducted annually to cover the cost of the award. The award committee is responsible for making proposals should the amount of the award need adjustment or additional fundraising be required. Proposals need to be approved by the board of the NESS Council. An initial fund of $30,000 has been secured as a dedication to the initial endowment of the Chernoff Award.


We hope you consider making a generous donation to help fund the award.

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If you have any question regarding the award or donation, please contact NESS Co-Vice Presidents for Strategies and Development Dr. Dooti Roy at and Dr. Gregory Vaughan at or NESS President Dr. Eric D. Kolaczyk at