Professor Sun receives the Environment Early Investigator Award 2017 for her outstanding contribution in environmental statistics

Ying Sun, Professor of Statistics in the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences & Engineering Division (CEMSE) of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, has been awarded the 2017 Early Investigator Award by the American Statistical Association's Section on Statistics and the Environment (ENVR).

Sharing the news with the university, Prof. Elnozahy, Dean of the CEMSE Division, said "The ENVR award is a testament to the great esteem that the international research community in environmental statistics holds for Professor Sun's research at KAUST. Her work addresses directly one of the four problem targets established in the original vision for KAUST. Indeed, as humanity is faced with an existential threat due to climate change, the importance of every effort to understand issues related to the environment cannot be overstated. I hope that In addition to the honor of receiving this prestigious award, Professor Sun's research will help increase the visibility of our collective effort at KAUST in environmental research."

The ENVR initiated the Early Investigator Awards to highlight outstanding contributions with a cross-disciplinary focus on statistics and the environment. Sun's contribution to statistics and environment was acknowledged by the 2017 ENVR Awards Committee for developing very efficient and highly original visualization techniques for functional data. Sun was also able to find computationally efficient methods for spatial data as well as a novel quantile estimation methodology. Last but not least, her research stood out for an exceptionally broad array of environmental applications.

After completing her Ph.D. in 2011, Sun was a postdoctoral researcher in the Research Network for Statistical Methods for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, affiliated with the University of Chicago and the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, and then became an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at Ohio State University. Sun joined KAUST in 2014 where she is an Assistant Professor in the Applied Mathematics & Computational Science Program and director of the Environmental Statistics Group.

When asked about the award, Sun commented " I'm very honored to receive this award presented by the ASA section on ENVR in recognition of my contributions to environmental statistics. I'm thankful for my colleagues who supported me over the years and also for everybody in my research group who has brought energy and enthusiasm to my daily research. As a statistician, my goal has been and will continue to be to develop statistical models and methods for complex data to address important environmental problems. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to build my research group on environmental statistics at KAUST. The unique collaborative learning environment at KAUST has kept me motivated and inspired."