The 2003 CRM-SSC Prize in Statistics has been awarded to Dr Charmaine B. Dean, Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University, for her outstanding contributions to the statistical sciences and her exemplary dedication to the profession, in Canada and abroad. The announcement was made at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC), held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 8-11, 2003. This prestigious award, jointly sponsored by the SSC and the Centre de recherches mathématiques de Montréal (CRM), is given each year to a Canadian statistician in recognition of outstanding contributions to the discipline during the recipient's first 15 years after earning a doctorate.
Charmaine Dean was born in 1958 in San Fernando, Trinidad, in the West Indies. She immigrated to Canada at the age of 19 and completed an Honours Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan in 1980. She then moved to Waterloo, Ontario, where she obtained an M. Math. in 1984 and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Waterloo in 1988, under the supervision of Professor Jerry Lawless. Her first appointment was at the University of Calgary, where she worked for one year before joining the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Simon Fraser University in 1989. She played a major role in setting up the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, for which she became the founding Chair in 2001.
Charmaine's thesis concerned mixed Poisson models and regression methods for count data. Over the years, she has authored or co-authored some thirty papers on inference for overdispersed generalized linear models, the analysis of recurrent event data, as well as spatial and spatio-temporal modelling for disease mapping. Her most influential contributions have appeared in journals such as Biometrics, Statistics in Medicine, the Journal of the American Statistical Association and The Canadian Journal of Statistics. Much of her work has been motivated by direct applications to important practical problems, and she has contributed by implementing many of her methodological developments, notably with the Ministry of Health in British Columbia.
Charmaine has also made outstanding contributions to graduate training, to professional statistical societies in Canada and internationally, and to the organization of meetings. Of particular note are her presidency of WNAR, the Western North-American Region of the International Biometric Society, her presidency of the SSC's Biostatistics Section and her role in establishing a Committee on Women in Statistics for the Society, her Associate Editorship at Liaison, the SSC newsletters, her action as Program Chair for the joint IMS/WNAR conference held in Seattle in 1999, and six years of service to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, including two as President of the Statistical Sciences Grant Selection Committee.