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Book Reviews


Book Reviews is a component of the International Statistical Review

Editor: Dr. Chaitra H. Nagaraja, Fordham University, USA

The intent of Book Reviews is to provide a rapid book review service for academic statisticians and practitioners covering new books on statistics and related subjects published throughout the world. Each review includes biographical information, table of contents, intended readership and a short critical evaluation

Older editions of (Short) Book Reviews are available online.


What is ISI


The ISI is a non-profit, non-government organization and has had consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1949.



We have a long History and rich tradition. Officially, the ISI was established in 1885, though the initial international gatherings of statisticians started earlier - back in 1853. Therefore, we are one of the oldest scientific associations still active throughout the world today.


Statutes and By-Laws

The initial 81 members were the elite of that era’s statisticians in government and academia. They established our first statutes which have undergone a number of revisions since then. The current Statutes and By-Laws were adopted in 2011 under Dutch Law.


Mission and Objectives

Our Mission and Objectives are reflected in our slogan “Statistical Science for a Better World” and are supported by Strategic Plans developed every few years by the ISI Executive Committee in consultation with the Council. They focus on the long-term goals of the ISI and on how to realize these goals.


The ISI Community Principles

The ISI Community Principles are fundamental for the ISI community and adhered to by the members of the ISI and the Associations.

The Karl Pearson Prize for Contemporary Research Contribution



The Karl Pearson Prize recognizes 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 is given biennially, at the ISI World Statistics Congress (WSC), starting with the WSC in Hong Kong in August 2013. It comprises a cash award of 5,000 euros, and the winner presents 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.


  • The article or book must have been published within the last 30 years.
  • For books the first edition establishes the relevant publication date.
  • The publication must be in English.
  • It must be a stand-alone research contribution that has had major influence and impact in one or more of the following:
    • Statistical theory
    • Statistical methodology
    • Statistical practice
    • Application areas

Submitting nominations

The Call for Nominations for the 2019 Karl Pearson Prize including submitting instructions can be viewed here.

Karl Pearson (1857-1936), 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.


The 2019 Karl Pearson Prize was awarded to Yoav Benjamini for the Benjamini-Hochberg 1995 paper "Controlling the false discovery rate: a practical and powerful approach to multiple testing" (J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B 57, 1995, no. 1, 289–300).


Prof. Joav Benjamini Yoav Benjamini

The paper by Benjamini and Hochberg, cited more than 50,000 times, introduced the false discovery rate or FDR that is widely used in diverse sciences to make simultaneous inference about a large number of hypotheses. FDR liberalizes the threshold for identifying hypotheses worth further investigation while at the same time controlling the rate of false discoveries. It has become an essential part of the analysis pipeline of complex data around the world. In addition to its wide applicability, the FDR paper includes elegant mathematical statistics. 

See also:

The False Discovery Rate | Stats + Stories Episode 108 with Yoav Benjamini

ISI President's Tribute to 2019 Pearson Prize Winner Yoav Benjamini

Thank you video message from Yoav Benjamini



The prize was presented at the 62nd ISI World Statistics Congress in Kuala Lumpur.


The 2017 Karl Pearson Prize was awarded to Roderick J. Little and Donald B. Rubin for their book "Statistical Analysis With Missing Data", published by John Wiley & Sons (1987). 


Roderick J. Little Roderick J. Little
Donald B. Rubin Donald B. Rubin

The work of Roderick J. Little and Donald B. Rubin, laid out in their seminal 1978 Biometrika papers and 1987 book, updated in 2002, has been no less than defining and transforming. Earlier missing data work was ad hoc at best. Little and Rubin defined the field and provided the methodological and applied communities with a useful and usable taxonomy and a set of key results. Today, their terminology and methodology is used more than ever. Their work has been transforming for the deep impact it had and has on both statistical practice and theory. It is one of the rare topics that has continued for the past thirty years to be studied and developed in academia, government and industry. For example, it plays a key role in the current work on sensitivity analysis with incomplete data.



The prize was presented on 21 July 2017 at the 61st ISI World Statistics Congress in Marrakech. Rod Little gave the Karl Pearson Lecture on Friday morning, 20 July.


The 2015 Karl Pearson Prize was awarded to Kung-Yee Liang and Scott Zeger for their paper “Longitudinal data analysis using generalized linear models” published in Biometrika (1986).


Kung-Yee Liang Kung-Yee Liang
Scott Zeger Scott Zeger

This paper had an immediate and sustained impact on both theory and methodology in statistics and biostatistics, as well as on applications in medical, physical and social sciences.  In the early 1980’s, inference using generalized linear models was enabling regression methods to be quickly adapted to models and data with non-normal responses.  At the same time the collection of repeated measurements on the same individual was a prominent feature of work in social sciences, medicine, public health, and other areas of science.  Liang and Zeger showed how to adapt the generalized linear models framework to these settings, using methodology they proposed under the name generalized estimating equations (GEE). This methodology is now a staple component of applied statistics courses, of statistical computing packages, and of hundreds upon hundreds of analyses in diverse subject matter fields.  The theoretical basis for the approach has been refined, and extended, to encompass a wide range of models with complex dependencies.  The paper was included in the 1997 volume of Breakthroughs in Statistics, accompanied by a comprehensive overview by Peter Diggle.



The prize was presented on 31 July 2015 at the ISI World Statistics Congress in Rio de Janeiro and was followed by the Karl Pearson Lecture by Scott Zeger.


The inaugural Karl Pearson Prize was awarded to Peter McCullagh and John Nelder[1] for their monograph Generalized Linear Models(1983).


Peter McCullagh Peter McCullagh
John Nelder John Nelder

This book has changed forever teaching, research and practice in statistics. It provides a unified and self-contained treatment of linear models for analyzing continuous, binary, count, categorical, survival, and other types of data, and illustrates the methods on applications from different areas. The monograph is based on several groundbreaking papers, including “Generalized linear models,” by Nelder and Wedderburn, JRSS-A (1972), “Quasi-likelihood functions, generalized linear models, and the Gauss-Newton method,” by Wedderburn, Biometrika (1974), and “Regression models for ordinal data,” by P. McCullagh, JRSS-B (1980). The implementation of GLM was greatly facilitated by the development of GLIM, the interactive statistical package, by Baker and Nelder. In his review of the GLIM3 release and its manual in JASA 1979 (pp. 934-5), Peter McCullagh wrote that "It is surprising that such a powerful and unifying tool should not have achieved greater popularity after six or more years of existence.” The collaboration between McCullagh and Nelder has certainly remedied this issue and has resulted in a superb treatment of the subject that is accessible to researchers, graduate students, and practitioners.



The prize was presented on 27 August 2013 at the ISI World Statistics Congress in Hong Kong and was followed by the Karl Pearson Lecture by Peter McCullagh.

[1] John Nelder passed away in August 2010.

ISI Khawarezmi Committee on Statistics of Arab Region


This committee was established by the International Statistical Institute (ISI) to stimulate the international statistical cooperation with countries in the Arabic world.

1. The committee’s objectives:

  • Promoting excellence through expanding the role of statistics in providing knowledge-based solutions to human development in the Arab countries.
  • Engaging Arab statisticians in ISI activities and its affiliate societies.
  • Increasing the number of Arab statisticians in the ISI.
  • Facilitating collaboration within statistical societies, academic communities and other organizations with statistical interests in Arab countries, by encouraging the communication of knowledge and conducting joint activities amongst national statistics agencies and societies.
  • Promoting the fundamental principles of official statistics.
  • Supporting the discipline of statistics in the region with a particular focus on the establishment of national societies.
  • Improving the world wide understanding of the priorities of statistics as developed and applied in the Arab region.

 2. Composition

• Chair:
Hamad bin Jaber B.J. Al Thani, President, Qatar Statistics Authority,
P.O. Box 7283, Doha, Qatar
Started in 2009
Association affiliation: ISI Institutional/Ex Officio

• Members (forthcoming):

Dr. Saleh M. Al Nabit (Qatar)
Started in 2015
Association affiliation: ISI Regular

Methods of Payment to the ISI - Cheque


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ISI Regional Statistics Conference

November 16-19, 2014

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


We are pleased to share with you the success of the inaugural ISI Regional Statistics Conference (ISI-RSC 2014) that was held during 16-19 November 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The ISI-RSC2014 was organized by the ISI South East Asia Regional Network, in collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM, Central Bank), Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM, National Statistics Office) and Malaysia Institute of Statistics (ISM, National Statistics Society).


The ISI Council launched the South East Asia Outreach Committee in 2013. By late 2013, there was enough interest in organizing an international conference for end 2014 as an effective way to meet its objectives. Members of the Outreach Committee began discussions with the ISI about organizing a Regional Statistics Conference. We were fortunate to find enthusiastic hosts in Malaysia. However, it seemed like an impossible task and we had many concerns. Was it possible to organize an international conference on a big scale in a short time? A large international statistics conference had never been held in the region before. Would we be able to attract submissions or attract participants?


We need not have worried. Due to the tremendous effort of the members of the committees of the conference, the conference turned out to be a great success. We had the support of the ISI, especially in the development of the scientific programme, and support from BNM, DOSM, ISM and local academics from various universities. The three major corporate sponsors and thirteen exhibitors had a prominent presence. The organization surpassed our expectations. The conference was preceded by a one-day seminar organized by the Irving Fisher Committee (IFC) on Central Banks Statistics. Many members of the ISI Executive Committee, the IFC and the Office of the ISI were present at the conference. In addition, World Bank funds made possible the participation of more than thirty junior faculty and students from developing regions. There were well attended pre- and post conference courses.


We had submissions from about 250 paper writers and presenters and around 500 participants from 40 countries, including the South East Asia region. The keynote address by the Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia on the role of statistics in producing valuable information for planning and policy was extremely stimulating. The three plenary speakers, Andrew Sheng, Agus Sudjianto and Pedro Luis do Nascimento Silva addressed the importance of good quality financial statistics, modeling and surveys.  Invited and contributed paper sessions covered fields from machine learning, reliability and non-parametric statistics to applications in health, finance, economics, environment and social sciences. The scientific sessions were so diverse and interesting that there was substantial participation even on the last day. The ISI-RSC Young Statistician’s Awards were awarded to Syed Shahnewaaz Ali of University of Dhaka (First), Klairung Samart of Prince of Songkla University (Second) and Shu-Yik Low of Stratos Consulting Group (Third). The ISI-RSC 2014 Most Promising Paper by a Student was awarded to  Ewilly J.Y. Liew ,  Monash University Malaysia.


Everyone had a wonderful time enjoying world-renowned Malaysian hospitality. There were numerous occasions to mingle socially and network with other participants. The social program included receptions on the first day and after the closing ceremony as well as a gala dinner on the second day hosted by the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia. The dinner was accompanied by wonderful local music and cultural dances.  


We wish to thank members of the Scientific Programme Committee, the Local Organizing Committee and the institutions involved that supported us.  We also want to express our appreciation to the ISI Executive Committee for its enthusiastic support of the conference. Most importantly, we wish to thank all participants for making ISI-RSC2014 a reality.


Shyamala Nagaraj, Chair, ISI-SEA Regional Network

Toh Hock Chai, Vice-Chair, Organising Committee, ISI-RSC 2014



(L-R) Agus Sudjianto, Shyamala Nagaraj, Andrew Sheng, Vijay Nair, Marzunisham Omar, Haji Abdul Rahman Hasan, Pedro Luis do Nascimento Silva

Participants at the Opening Ceremony; front row includes Katherine Hennings, Ada van Krimpen, Helen MacGillivray, John Bailar, Irina Krezman

Keynote Address by Tan Sri Zeti Aziz, Governor of Malaysia’s Central Bank 

Participants at the Gala Dinner

Winners of Awards (L to R): Ewilly J.Y. Liew,  Shu-Yik Low, Klairung Samart, Tamanna Howlader (receiving for Syed Shahnewaaz Ali)

Irina Krezman, Pedro Luis do Nascimento Silva, Shyamala Nagaraj, Helen MacGillivray, Muhamad Ibrahim, Vijay Nair, Toh Hock Chai

ISI East Asian Outreach Committee


1. Objectives and Expected Products

  1. To identify the potential members from the countries in the region the committee will cooperate closely with the statistical societies in the region, both national and specialized ones.
  2. To activate and to share information regionally for the joint statistical activities of holding conferences among the regional subsections of ISI Associations.

2. Composition

• Chair

Cathy W. S. Chen, Feng Chia University, Taiwan

• Secretary

Mike K.P. So, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

• Members

- Wing Kam Fung, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

- Hao Zhang, Purdue University, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China

- Shigeru Kawasaki, Director General, Statistical Research and Training Institute, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan

- Koji Kurihara,Okyama University, Japan

- Masanobu Taniguchi, Waseda University, Japan

- Chul Eung Kim, Yonsei University, Korea

- Jung Jin Lee, Soongsil University, Seoul, Korea

- Tae-Rim Lee, Korea National Open University, Seoul, Korea

- Yonghee Lee, The University of Seoul, Seoul, Korea

- Chun-houh Chen, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

The ISI Permanent Office


The ISI Permanent Office (PO) is located on the premises of Statistics Netherlands in The Hague. With 8 staff members and 1 volunteer, the Permanent Office serves the ISI members, the ISI Executive Committee and Council and the ISI Associations and Committees.


Staff of the ISI Permanent Office


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Ada van Krimpen - Director

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