On Friday 1st September 2017, our Director, Professor Sylvia Richardson was awarded with an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Oslo.
Since 1824, the University of Oslo has been entitled to appoint honorary doctorates – the highest possible honor by the University. The honorary doctoral degrees (doctor honoris causa) are given to prominent academics, and are awarded without the candidate having passed a dissertation. Sylvia’s honorary doctorate was awarded by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University, describing Sylvia as “a world leading statistician, making ground breaking contributions to statistics”.
Receiving this degree recognises Sylvia’s significant scientific achievements in advancing biostatistics research, and her recent work in developing new analytical strategies for high dimensional data analysis, particularly in the field of integrative and translational genomics. Sylvia has also contributed to progress in epidemiological understanding and has led visionary work on spatial statistics, measurement error problems, and mixture and clustering models.
To mark Sylvia’s award, to celebrate the statistics community, and to show the variety of activities in biostatistics research at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, a workshop was held on Thursday 31st August at the University of Oslo. The special event included presentations on some of the ongoing statistical research in the life sciences within the Faculty, including a talk by one of Sylvia’s past PhD students, who is now a lecturer in biostatistics at the University of Oslo. Sylvia was commended for her various scientific achievements and her continuous support to colleagues at the University of Oslo. Professor Ingrid Glad from the Faculty, described Sylvia as “an admirable role model for all of us, and one of the most prominent statisticians in the world”.
On the same day as receiving the degree in a formal ceremony, Sylvia delivered an honorary doctorate open lecture, entitled ‘A personal view of statistics as a tool for discovery in the health sciences’ which had a full audience and was very well received by colleagues, collaborators and students (image to the right).
The honorary doctorate is a wonderful honor. Staff and students at the BSU are delighted for Sylvia and congratulate her on this outstanding achievement.
Sylvia has also expressed her delight: “I was thrilled and greatly honored to receive this award and have found my interactions with the statistics and biostatistics groups in Oslo very stimulating over the years”
Sylvia’s links with the University of Oslo will continue, through her affiliation with the BigInsight centre in Norway and other collaborative projects with the University.
Sylvia was interviewed for an article for the University of Oslo website (published in Norwegian). Here Sylvia discusses her work, some of the challenges she has faced in her career, and provides inspiring words for the next generation of biostatisticians. Article available to read at: https://titan.uio.no/node/2461
Watch video of Sylvia being presented with her honorary doctorate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f–9u3B0T2c&t=45s
Image credit at the top of article: Åsmund H. Eikenes/UiO