Stanford statistician Robert Tibshirani elected as Royal Society Fellow

The Royal Society cited Tibshirani’s invention of the “Lasso” and other statistical tools for his election.

Stanford statistician Robert Tibshirani is one of 50 newly elected Fellows of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, with a history dating more than 350 years.

Robert Tibshirani

Image credit: Rod Searcey

“I am really honored to be a member of a society that includes many great British statisticians and giants like Isaac Newton,” said Tibshirani, who is a professor of statistics at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences and of biomedical data science at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Royal Society Fellows are selected by a council of roughly two dozen current Fellows and must have made “a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science.”

The Royal Society highlighted Tibshirani’s “seminal contributions to the fields of bioinformatics and statistics” and singled out his invention of statistical tools or algorithms for extracting important information from data as being important factors in his election. Tibshirani is best known for developing the “Lasso,” a statistical method for uncovering features such as characteristics in a patient that are most predictive of the outcome under study.

Tibshirani will be formally admitted to the Society in July, when new Fellows will sign the Charter Book and the Obligation of the Fellows of the Royal Society.

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