2006 K. C. S. Pillai Memorial Lecture: Statistical models for spatial processes on a global scale
Michael Stein, Ralph and Mary Otis Isham Professor, Department of Statistics and the College, University of Chicago, was the invited speaker for the K.C.S. Pillai Memorial Lecture which was held on Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 4:30pm in MATH 175. The title of his talk was "Statistical models for spatial processes on a global scale." A reception preceded the seminar at 4:00pm in the Mathematical Sciences Library Lounge.
Michael Stein graduated from MIT in 1980 with a B.S. in mathematics and received the M.S. and Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford in 1982 and 1984. After spending a year at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago, where he is now the Ralph and Mary Otis Isham Professor of Statistics and the College. He was chairman of the department from 1998 to 2001.
Most of Stein's research has been in the area of spatial statistics and its applications to environmental sciences and astrophysics. He is currently the director of CISES (Center for Integrating Statistical and Environmental Science), funded by the United States EPA.
Stein states, "My main motivation for studying spatial-temporal process is to describe the variations in the physical environment. Some of the processes my collaborators and I are currently studying include stratospheric ozone, air pollution at both regional and urban scales, and sediment transport in the Great Lakes. One of our goals is to incorporate the information from deterministic physical models into the statistical modeling of these processes in order to validate and improve the physical models and to provide better predictions of spatial-temporal processes than can be obtained from purely statistical approaches."