David Hand (statistician)

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David Hand OBE
Brainwash Festival 2015 - David Hand (1).jpg
Born (1950-06-30) 30 June 1950 (age 70)
Alma materOxford University
University of Southampton
AwardsGuy Medal (Silver, 2002)
IEEE-ICDM Outstanding Contributions Award (2004)
George Box Medal (2016)
Scientific career
InstitutionsInstitute of Psychiatry
Open University
Imperial College London
ThesisThe Classification of Incomplete Vectors (1977)
Doctoral advisorBruce Godfrey Batchelor[1]

David John Hand OBE FBA (born 30 June 1950 in Peterborough[2]) is a British statistician. His research interests include multivariate statistics, classification methods, pattern recognition, the computational statistics and the foundations of statistics.[3] He has written books on finance, measurement and computation in statistics, as well as authoring the Very Short Introduction to statistics.

Hand was a professor of statistics at the Open University from 1988 until 1999, when he moved to Imperial College London.[2] He was awarded the Guy Medal in Silver by the Royal Statistical Society in 2002 and served as its president in 2008–2009, then again from in 2010 after Bernard Silverman stood down.[4] He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003.[2]

Hand's book The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day was published by Scientific American in February 2014.

Hand was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to research and innovation.[5][6]

In April 2013 he joined the board of the UK Statistics Authority as a non-executive director.[7]

Selected works[edit]


He has published 28 books, inter alia:

  • 2001. (with Mannila H. and Smyth P). Principles of Data Mining. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262082907
  • 2014. (with Paul Allin). "The Wellbeing of Nations: Meaning, Motive and Measurement". Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-48957-4
  • 2014. "The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen All the Time". Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-17534-4
  • 2020. Dark Data Princeton University Press ISBN 978-0691182377


He has published 300 scientific articles, inter alia:


  1. ^ David Hand at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ a b c Prof David Hand Authorised Biography at Debrett's People of Today. Accessed 2011-01-27.
  3. ^ "Professor David Hand". Imperial College London. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Past President". The Royal Statistical Society. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  5. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 11.
  6. ^ "New Year Honours List 2013 - General List" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  7. ^ London, Main campus address: Imperial College; Campus, South Kensington; SW7 2AZ, London; maps, tel: +4420 7589 5111 Campus; in, information | About this site | This site uses cookies | Report incorrect content | Log. "Appointments to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority | Imperial News | Imperial College London". Imperial News. Retrieved 7 June 2019.