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International Statistical Institute

The Karl Pearson Prize
for Contemporary Research Contribution

Announcement and Call for Nominations

January 31, 2013



The Karl Pearson Prize, established by the ISI, will recognize a research contribution that has had profound influence on statistical theory, methodology, practice, or applications. The contribution must be a research article or book published within the last three decades. The prize will be given biennially, at the ISI World Statistics Congress (WSC), starting with the upcoming WSC in Hong Kong in August 2013. It comprises a cash award of 5,000 euros, and the winner will present the Karl Pearson Lecture at the WSC. If the contribution has multiple authors, the cash prize will be divided equally, and travel support will be provided for one of the authors to attend the WSC and present the lecture.

The ISI is grateful to Elsevier Publishers for sponsoring the prize and for covering travel expenses to the WSC to present the lecture.


Karl Pearson (1857-1936)

Karl Pearson

Karl Pearson, a mathematician and philosopher, was a key figure in the development of Mathematical Statistics.  His contributions include: the correlation coefficient; the Chi-squared statistic for testing goodness-of-fit and for measuring association in contingency tables; the method of moments; the Pearson family of frequency curves, and a flexible class of distributions. His 1901 paper laid the foundation for principal component analysis, the technique for dimension reduction in multivariate analysis. Pearson's statistical tables and the material explaining their use became the first advanced texts for the new methodology. His work also covered applications to biology, epidemiology, anthropometry, medicine, and social history. He wrote Grammar of Science, a foundational book with an empirical approach to the philosophy of science. Pearson was also a builder of institutions. He began the program of advanced instruction in statistics at University College London, attracting students from all over the world who in turn helped to develop statistics curricula in their own countries. He co-founded the journal Biometrika in 1901 and edited it until his death.



Nominations are invited for the 2013 Karl Pearson Prize. To submit a nomination:

  • Download the nomination form.
  • Fill in the material requested and return the completed form via e-mail to the ISI Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject "Karl Pearson Prize".
  • For a research contribution that is not published in English, a translation in English must be submitted together with the nomination.
  • Note that self-nomination is not permitted.


Selection Criteria:

  • The article or book must have been published on or after January 1, 1983.
  • It is a stand-alone research contribution that has had major influence in one or more of the following:
    • Statistical theory
    • Statistical methodology
    • Statistical practice
    • Application areas


Important Date:

Nominations are due in the ISI Office by March 10, 2013.




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