National Honours for Canada Research Chair
The John L. Synge Award was established in 1986 by the RSC to honour John Lighton Synge (1897-1995), FRS, FRSC, one of the first mathematicians working in Canada to obtain international recognition through research in mathematics. The award, endowed by friends of J.L. Synge, RSC Fellows, the McLean Foundation and his daughter, Cathleen Synge Morawetz, FRSC, recognizes outstanding research in the mathematical sciences.
“I am most grateful to the Royal Society of Canada for this honour and to my friends and colleagues for nominating me,” says Paul. “It is especially humbling to receive the Synge Award having sat, as an undergraduate student, in the Synge lecture theatre in Dublin. I would like to dedicate this award to my dear friend Petros Florides who himself worked with Synge and often speaks fondly of him.”
Paul, whose research is focused on the development, implementation and application of statistical methods, is a Professor in McMaster’s Department of Mathematics & Statistics. Paul is also the Canada Research Chair in Computational Statistics, Director of the MacDATA Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Classification.
“Paul’s career here at McMaster has been nothing less than stellar,” said Karen Mossman, Vice President, Research. “Much like the award’s namesake, J.L. Synge, Paul has established himself as an influential researcher and mentor, leading the largest statistics research group in Canada and ensuring that, in this data science era, our country remains at the forefront of research in statistics.”
Paul made history when he was awarded the Steacie Prize for the Natural Sciences in 2020. It was the first time one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for early-career scientists and engineers was awarded for research in statistics. Paul was also awarded a E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship in 2019 and was inducted into the College of the Royal Society of Canada in 2017.
“Paul has had a tremendous impact in our Department and the University as whole”, says Matheus Grasselli, Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “The numerous prizes and distinctions he has received over the years, now crowned by the Synge award, have increased the profile and importance of research in statistics done at McMaster nationally and internationally. And by the looks of it, he is just getting started.”
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