Christian Genest awarded 2023 CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize

Interim Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is recognized for his exceptional research achievement in the mathematical sciences
Christian Genest is the first statistician to be awarded the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize

The premier Canadian research prize in the mathematical sciences, called the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize, has been awarded to Professor Christian Genest, Interim Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Canada Research Chair in Stochastic Dependence Modeling.

Genest, who is the first statistician to receive this distinction, is being recognized for his numerous and influential contributions to multivariate analysis, nonparametric statistics, extreme-value theory, group decision making, and more recently, space-time modeling of rare, catastrophic events under the aegis of McGill’s Trottier Institute for Science and Public Policy. This prize also highlights Genest’s outstanding record of mentoring and service to the profession, including as President of the Statistical Society of Canada and Editor-in-Chief of two international journals.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to the institutes for this prize, knowing that I could never have made it this far without the help of my collaborators,” said Genest. “My students and coauthors have played a vital role in my research, and I thank them for their inspiration and friendship. I am also obliged to the Selection Committee for recognizing the fundamental mathematical character of the bulk of my work. Their decision is consonant with the institutes’ long-standing support of Statistics. The CRM, which is based here in Montréal, has been a precursor and continues to be a leader in this regard, together with the Institut des sciences mathématiques du Québec.”

Genest completed his PhD at the University of British Columbia in 1983. After holding a visiting position at Carnegie Mellon University for one year, he worked at the University of Waterloo and, as of 1987, at Université Laval before joining McGill in 2010.

He has received multiple awards for his work, including the Statistical Society of Canada’s Gold Medal in 2011, and a Humboldt Research Prize in 2019. The Royal Society of Canada made him a Fellow in 2015 and gave him the John L. Synge Award in 2020. Genest is the fifth McGill professor to receive the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize after Bruce Reed (2013), Niky Kamran (2014), Daniel Wise (2016), and Henri Darmon (2017).

The CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize is awarded in recognition of exceptional research achievement in the mathematical sciences. It was established by the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) and the Fields Institute as the CRM-Fields Prize in 1994, and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) became an equal partner in 2005. The award includes a substantial cash prize and an invitation to speak at one of the institutes. Genest will deliver the CRM-Fields-PIMS Prize Lecture at the Fields Institute in Toronto on April 20, 2023.