Dr. Bani K. Mallick, distinguished professor of statistics and holder of the Susan M. Arseven ’75 Chair in Data Science and Computational Statistics at Texas A&M University, has been honored by the University of Connecticut Department of Statistics with its Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2020-2021.
Mallick, who earned his doctorate in statistics from UConn in 1994, is the fifth all-time recipient of the award, first presented in 2008 to recognize UConn statistics graduates with records of outstanding professional accomplishment in statistics and related fields.
Mallick will be honored during a formal event in 2021 (date to be determined), where he also will deliver an invited lecture detailing his career scholarship and professional achievements.
“I am honored to be recognized as a distinguished alumnus at the University of Connecticut,” Mallick said. “I dedicate this award to my parents, who were instrumental in sending me to UConn for my graduate studies. I have recently lost both of them, but their memories are still the major inspiration for me. I am also eternally grateful to UConn for providing me with a very solid educational foundation. Moreover, I feel younger when I go down memory lane!”
After earning his UConn Ph.D., Mallick served briefly as a lecturer at Imperial College, London, before joining the Texas A&M Department of Statistics in 1998, where he serves as director of both the Center for Statistical Bioinformatics and the Bayesian Bioinformatics Laboratory as well as principal investigator for the $1.5 million National Science Foundation-funded Texas A&M Research Institute for Foundations of Interdisciplinary Data Science (FIDS). He was appointed as a distinguished professor of statistics in 2011 and to the Arseven Chair in Data Science and Computational Statistics in 2016.
Globally renowned as a pioneer in Bayesian nonparametric regression and classification research, Mallick is considered one of today’s most influential and productive statisticians. He has developed novel methodology and theory that has become the foundation for interdisciplinary research in myriad fields, from bioinformatics and veterinary medicine to engineering and traffic mapping. Mallick’s research in Bayesian modeling and computation has been supported by grants from the NSF, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy and Department of Defense. In addition to serving as an editor for the Indian statistics journal Sankhya, he has authored and edited six books, including the textbook, Bayesian Methods of Nonlinear Classification and Regression, which is regarded as one of the definitive works in the discipline.
Equally revered as an instructor and mentor at Texas A&M, Mallick has graduated more than 30 doctoral students and directed 12 postdoctoral fellows while serving as a member of 30 additional Ph.D. committees and 22 MS committees in the past decade alone. More than 70 percent of his students have joined academia in top universities or secured positions at prominent firms, including IBM, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and the Penn Cancer Center. His Ph.D. students also have received major international awards, such as the Savage Award and top honors in the American Statistical Association’s best paper competitions.
A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the Royal Statistical Society, Mallick also is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. His previous career honors include the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from the Indian Statistical Association, the Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair for 2017-2018 and Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards in Research (2006) and Graduate Mentoring (2019).
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