Gun Ho Jang, Pierre Robillard Award 2011

Gun Ho Jang
Pierre Robillard Award
University of Toronto

Thesis Advisor: 

Michael Evans

Thesis Topic: 

Invariant procedures for model checking, checking for prior-data conflict and Bayesian inference
Gun Ho Jang is the winner of the 2010 Pierre Robillard Award of the Statistical Society of Canada. This prize recognizes the best Ph.D. thesis in probability or statistics defended at a Canadian university in a given year.
Gun Ho’s thesis is entitled “Invariant Procedures for Model Checking, Checking for Prior-Data Conflict and Bayesian Inference.” It was written at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Michael Evans. In his work, Gun Ho focused on invariant procedures in Statistics, that is, the results of two statisticians’ independent data analyses, based upon the same statistical theory and using effectively the same statistical ingredients, are the same. He proposed assessments of single null hypotheses without any specific alternative hypothesis which are applicable for both model checking and checking for prior-data conflict. Then he explored properties of relative surprise inferences, an invariant Bayesian inference methodology which compares the belief changes from a priori to a posteriori, such as consistency and asymptotic normality.
Gun Ho was born in Boryoung, a small municipality in South Korea, Republic of Korea. He did his undergraduate and master studies in mathematics at Seoul National University in Seoul. He started his Ph.D. in the statistics program at the University of Toronto in September 2006 and defended his thesis in April 2010. He now holds a postdoctoral position in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
Speaking about his life as student and husband, Gun Ho said that when he struggled to make a firm decision about studying abroad, his wife, Jae Young Yu, held him steady by saying, “if you have an earnest dream, follow it in order not to regret at the end of your life.” Then, with a good degree of emotion, he added, “without her strong support, I couldn’t have earned my degree. I would like to dedicate my thesis and the Pierre Robillard Award to her.”

The citation for the award reads: 

The criteria used in selecting the winner of the Pierre Robillard Award include the originality of ideas and techniques, the possible applications and their treatment, and the potential impact of the work. The award is named in memory of Professor Pierre Robillard, an outstanding dynamic young statistician at the Université de Montréal, whose untimely death in 1975 cut short what promised to be a highly distinguished career.