CRM-SSC Prize in Statistics awarded to Richard Cook


COOKRichard Cook, Professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo, is the 2007 winner of the CRM-SSC prize. Dr. Cook’s work in longitudinal and lifetime data analysis has had immense impact on biostatistics, medicine and public health.  Within 15 years of his PhD, Richard Cook has made outstanding contributions to an impressive number of statistical research fields covering  the design of clinical trials, hierarchical models, robust inference, and the analysis of survival, multi-state, and recurrent event data.  His work is solidly grounded in important problems in public health and clinical trials and he has substantially raised the level of statistical expertise in the Canadian and international medical community through his important methodological advances in these fields.  That this community has afforded him several major awards to develop new theory in his  areas of expertise is evidence of the great respect that they honour him.  Richard Cook is gifted with great insight and a passion for closely knit collaborative work, one which truly embodies the sorts of interdisciplinary connections which form the cornerstone of rapid advances in medical and biostatistical research. 

Richard Cook obtained his BSc in Statistics from McMaster University and his MMath, in 1989, and PhD, in 1993, from the University of Waterloo.  He was appointed a Research Assistant Professor in Statistics  in 1993 at the University of Waterloo.  He currently holds  adjunct appointments in the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology  at the University of Waterloo and  in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.  In 1998, he became an Associate Professor and then, in 2003, a Full Professor.  He was awarded a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Statistical Methods for Health Research at the University of Waterloo in 2005.

Richard Cook is a leading international expert in longitudinal and life history data analysis.  He has made ingenious contributions to the analysis of multi-state models and the joint analysis of multiple events.  His joint work with Jerry Lawless has  helped set current frameworks used in the analysis of recurrent events, and  their jointly authored book The Statistical Analysis of Recurrent Events is to be published in July 2007.  Characteristic of Richard Cook’s research is the novelty and insight it brings to important problems in public health research.  He has made exceptional contributions to the medical community and is one of their leading experts in methods for several application areas including rheumatology, cardiovascular disease, oncology,  clinical trials and transfusion medicine.  He has also provided great leadership through service on several medical advisory panels and medical research grant selection committees.  He  was a Scholar  of the (previous) Medical Research Council of Canada from 1996 to 2000 and held an Investigator award   the Canadian Institutes of Health Research from 2000 – 2005 and a Premier's Research Excellence Award from the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and GlaxoSmithKline from 1999 to 2004 .  Professor Cook has served as Associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Statistics and  Lifetime Data Analysis and as President of the Biostatistics Section of the SSC. Professor Cook has also made important contributions to training with four postdoctoral fellows,  six doctoral,  and  thirteen Master's degrees completed under his supervision.  Richard Cook’s impact on biostatistics has been truly inspiring.

Richard  credits his success to parents who created a nurturing and supportive home life during his formative years,  inspirational colleagues at the University of Waterloo, and top notch graduate students and research fellows.  Richard's sister, Dr. Deborah Cook, is a Canada Research Chair in the Department  of  Medicine at McMaster University with whom he collaborates on occasion.  Richard, his wife Alison, and their sons Graham and Eric live in Hamilton, Ontario where they enjoy cycling, hiking, running, golf and soccer.

This announcement of the 2007 CRM-SSC prize was made at Memorial University in St. John’s, site of this year's Annual Meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada.  The SSC, founded in 1977, is dedicated to the promotion of excellence in statistical research and practice. This prestigious award, jointly sponsored by the SSC and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (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.

Richard Cook is the ninth recipient of the CRM-SSC Prize. Previous winners of the award were Christian Genest (Laval), Robert J. Tibshirani (Stanford), Colleen D. Cutler (Waterloo), Larry A. Wasserman (Carnegie Mellon), Charmaine B. Dean (Simon Fraser), Randy Sitter (Simon Fraser), Jiahua Chen (Waterloo) and Jeffrey Rosenthal (Toronto).

Charmaine Dean, Simon Fraser University, Chair of the CRM-SSC Prize Committee