BIDS Faculty Affiliate Bin Yu — Chancellor’s Professor of Statistics and of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (since 2006) at UC Berkeley and a Principal Investigator with Berkeley Center for Computational Biology — has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lausanne (UNIL). Yu was honored for "her international reputation" and "the breadth and importance of her contributions" as "one of the most influential researchers of her time" by Jean-Philippe Bonardi, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics.
Yu has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006 and the Elizabeth Scott Award in 2018, a distinction that recognizes a statistician for their efforts in fostering the careers of women in statistics. She is also an elected member of several prestigious scientific institutes and societies such as the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, for which she served as President from 2012 to 2015. She was also one of the first editors of the Journal of Machine Learning Research.
The honor was bestowed to recognize the impact of her work in the discipline of Data Science, and how it "will undoubtedly be central to tomorrow’s economy." In her research, Yu is actively involved in the development of theoretical foundations for random forests, deep learning, artificial intelligence, interpretable machine learning, and veridical data science, continually aiming for a better understanding of these models from mathematical, statistical, and computational perspectives. Her work contributes to solving scientific problems in many fields, including neuroscience, genomics and remote sensing.
Yu was also honored for "her character and her openness to others and to the world," and for contributions that "are far from being confined to the scientific community" and that "are part of collective efforts to build a better world," including recent media coverage of her work on predicting of COVID-19 severity in the United States.
Jean-Philippe Bonardi, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at University of Lausanne, provided the above remarks (English translation from the French) on June 4, 2021, as an introduction to this video interview of Bin Yu by journalist Nathalie Randin (starting at 3:26).