During the annual meeting on March 17th, Rianne de Heide received the Willem R. van Zwet Award for her dissertation entitled “Bayesian Learning: Challenges, Limitations and Pragmatics”.
From the jury report Van Zwet Award VVSOR 2022:
This year we received a small number of high quality nominations for the van Zwet award, covering a variety of topics on Statistics and Operations Research. We note, as in previous years that the nominations were predominantly from Mathematical Statistics and Operations Research. We ask the promotors in applied statistics to be less modest and to nominate their excellent theses!
The jury was unanimous in their choice of the winner: Rianne de Heide, with her thesis “Bayesian Learning: Challenges, Limitations and Pragmatics”. The thesis covers the subject of Safe Testing, a method for inference that allows early stopping and optional continuation of data gathering, and which has links to both frequentist and Bayesian inference. The jury was impressed with the writing style, that engages the reader and moves easily from the conceptual to the technical, and from the practical to the philosophical. It was truly a pleasure to read. In the thesis, Rianne de Heide engages in debate, challenging too easy, but sometimes well-established intuitions, e.g. about Bayes factors. She dissect the material, making the intuitions precise and investigating the properties of resulting constructs. The content is highly innovative conceptually. For example by the introduction of the GROW e-values as a powerful basis for safe testing. The technical level is high. The jury believes that the work described in this thesis will be very influential, and congratulates Rianne de Heide on a well-deserved award.