Best Paper Honours at AustMS

A trio of researchers supported by ACEMS wins the award for best paper at the 2019 Conference for the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS).

The 2019 Gavin Brown Prize for outstanding article, monograph or book was presented to Dr Zdravko Botev (UNSW) and Professors Joseph Grotowski and Dirk Kroese (UQ) for their paper Kernel Density Estimation Via Diffusion published in the Annals of Statistics. Professor Kroese is an ACEMS Chief Investigator.

The trio have been praised for their fast kernel density estimator, which achieves excellent accuracy thanks to an ingenious bandwidth selection algorithm.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Dr. Zdravko Botev said the award is a humbling honour that recognizes four years of tireless search during his PhD candidature while at UQ. 

“I was not the first to notice that the empirical distribution of data behaves very similarly to point-sources of heat in a slab. The diffusion estimator is compelling, because it uses beautiful concepts invented by Fourier, Einstein and others, and that describe phenomena ranging from the spread of heat in objects through to the spread of information in social networks,” Dr Dravko said.

The diffusion kernel estimator has gained enough popularity to be included in standard undergraduate textbooks such as the just released “Data Science and Machine Learning: Mathematical and Statistical Foundations” written by Professor Kroese and his colleagues.  

Prof Dirk Kroese talks about new textbook: "Data Science and Machine Learning; Mathematical and Statistical Foundations"