Robert Tibshirani

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Robert Tibshirani
Robert tibshirani.jpg
Born (1956-07-10) July 10, 1956 (age 60)
Nationality Canada, American
Fields Statistics
Institutions Stanford University
Alma mater University of Waterloo, Stanford University
Doctoral advisor Bradley Efron
Known for LASSO method
Spouse Cheryl Denise Tibshirani

Robert Tibshirani FRSC (born July 10, 1956) is a Professor in the Departments of Statistics and Health Research and Policy at Stanford University. He was a Professor at the University of Toronto from 1985 to 1998. In his work, he develops statistical tools for the analysis of complex datasets, most recently in genomics and proteomics.

His most well-known contributions are the LASSO method, which proposed the use of L1 penalization in regression and related problems, and Significance Analysis of Microarrays. He has also co-authored four well-known books: Generalized Additive Models, An Introduction to the Bootstrap, The Elements of Statistical Learning,[1] and Introduction to Statistical Learning, the last two of which are available for free from the author's website.


Tibshirani was born on 10 July 1956 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He received his B. Math. in statistics and computer science from the University of Waterloo in 1979 and a Master's degree in Statistics from University of Toronto in 1980. Tibshirani joined the doctoral program at Stanford University in 1981 and received his Ph.D. in 1984 under the supervision of Bradley Efron. His dissertation was entitled "Local likelihood estimation".[2]

His son, Ryan Tibshirani, with whom he occasionally publishes scientific papers, is currently an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the department of Statistics, jointly in the Machine Learning Department.

Honors and awards[edit]

Tibshirani received the COPSS Presidents' Award in 1996. Given jointly by the world's leading statistical societies, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to statistics by a statistician under the age of 40. He is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the American Statistical Association, and a (Canadian) Steacie award winner. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2001 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.[3]

Tibshirani was made the 2012 Statistical Society of Canada's Gold Medalist at their yearly meeting in Guelph, Ontario for "exceptional contributions to methodology and theory for the analysis of complex data sets, smoothing and regression methodology, statistical learning, and classification, and application areas that include public health, genomics, and proteomics".[4] He gave his Gold Medal Address at the 2013 meeting in Edmonton.