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Statistician Abhra Sarkar Receives Mitchell Prize

Statistician Abhra Sarkar Receives Mitchell Prize
Abhra Sarkar was awarded the 2018 Mitchell Prize for his research in animal vocalization modelling. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

Abhra Sarkar, assistant professor of statistics and data sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, was awarded the 2018 Mitchell Prize by the International Society for Bayesian Analysis in August for his research in animal vocalization modelling.

The Mitchell Prize recognizes outstanding research which describes how Bayesian analysis has solved an important scientific problem, in this case, how to build a statistical model that accurately predicts the sequence of vocalizations an animal or group of animals will make under different circumstances.

"The Mitchell Prize is a significant honor and a testament to Abhra's growing reputation as a leader in statistical neuroscience," said Kate Calder, chair of the UT Austin's Department of Statistics and Data Sciences.

Animal vocalizations, or the sounds animals make, are used in auditory neuroscience as a way to learn more about human communication. Sarkar's paper, published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, introduced a new modeling technique in statistics which furthers understanding of the neurological, genetic and evolutionary basis of human vocal communication processes.

Previously, Sarkar received two awards from the American Statistical Association for his research in 2012 and 2013, as well as the Student Paper Award from International Indian Statistical Association in 2014. Sarkar received his doctorate in statistics at Texas A&M in 2014, and joined the UT faculty in 2017.

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Sunday, 15 December 2019

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