Blackwell-Rosenbluth Award

Call for award nominations

Dear all,

It is with great pleasure that we announce the Blackwell-Rosenbluth Award by j-ISBA, a new award for junior researchers in different areas of Bayesian statistics. Winners will be invited to present their work in two special events of the Junior Bayes Beyond the Borders (JB^3) webinar series and receive three years of free ISBA and j-ISBA membership.

ISBA proudly has a wide geographical diversity among its members. To encourage scientific exchange and strengthen research connections between geographies, three prizes will be awarded to researchers based in time zones UTC+0 to UTC+13 [e.g. Africa + Asia + Europe + Oceania] and three to those based in UTC-12 to UTC-1 [e.g. North America + South America].
The winners belonging to the former group will present in a special JB^3 event hosted in the latter time zones, and vice versa, to raise their intercontinental visibility. We welcome nominations of junior researchers working in the broad spectrum of topics in Bayesian statistics, including but not limited to methods, theory, computation, machine learning, data science, biostatistics, econometrics, industrial statistics, environmental science, and software.

Why Blackwell-Rosenbluth

The award is named after David H. Blackwell and Arianna W. Rosenbluth for their groundbreaking works that lie at the foundation of modern Bayesian statistical theory and computation. They represent important role models for new researchers in Bayesian statistics.

David Harold Blackwell

Young Blackwell

Born on April 24, 1919, Blackwell excelled in mathematics from an early age. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the supervision of Joseph L. Doob in 1941. He had a distinguished career, becoming a founding member in 1955 of the newly established Department of Statistics at University California, Berkeley. In 1965, he became the first African American to be elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1979. In addition to his seminal contributions to Bayesian inference, decision theory, game theory, sequential analysis and renewal theory, he also wrote one of the first textbooks in Bayesian statistics (Basic Statistics, McGraw-Hill, 1969).

Arianna Wright Rosenbluth

Young Rosenbluth

Born on September 15, 1927, Arianna Wright Rosenbluth showed an affinity for sciences from early childhood. She completed her doctoral work under the supervision of a future Nobel Laureate, John Van Vleck, in 1949, making her the fifth woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard. Later, as a coauthor of the seminal 1953 paper introducing the Metropolis algorithm, Rosenbluth almost single-handedly implemented the algorithm on the MANIAC I hardware at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. This made her the first person to ever implement the Markov chain Monte Carlo method when sophisticated programming tools were still years away, and the program had to be written in strings of 1’s and 0’s.

Eligibility and Application Procedure

Ph.D. students or early career researchers who graduated after January 1, 2016 are eligible for nomination. A nomination may come from any ISBA member, including the nominee themselves. A nomination is to be submitted electronically and should contain:

  • Nominating letter in support of the candidate
  • CV of the candidate
  • One manuscript or alternate form of exposition (e.g. software documentation) of scientific work most representative of the nominee’s achievements; the submitted work should also be available as publication or in a public repository such as arXiv, bioRxiv, CRAN, Bioconductor or GitHub.

Submit here.
If you are unable to use Google Forms, please email your nomination to


The deadline for submission is July 31, 2021. Winners will be announced by October and invited to present their work at the online seminar series Junior Bayes Beyond the Borders (JB^3).

Winners of the Blackwell-Rosenbluth Award


UTC+0 to UTC+13

Marta Catalano, Warwick University
Samuel Livingstone, University College London
Dootika Vats, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

UTC-12 to UTC-1

Trevor Campbell, University of British Columbia
Daniel Kowal, Rice University
Yixin Wang, University of Michigan

JB^3 webinars with winners

Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 1pm UTC
Host: Bocconi University, Italy
- 1:00pm UTC — 1:10pm UTC: Opening by j-ISBA and remarks from UTC+ Scientific Committee
- 1:10pm UTC — 1:45pm UTC: Presentation by Trevor Campbell
- 1:45pm UTC — 2:20pm UTC: Presentation by Daniel Kowal
- 2:20pm UTC — 2:55pm UTC: Presentation by Yixin Wang
- 2:55pm UTC — 3:00pm UTC: Final remarks
How to join: Zoom links will be posted in this page when the event date approaches.

Date: Friday, November 12, 2021 at 1pm UTC
Host: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico
- 1:00pm UTC — 1:10pm UTC: Opening by j-ISBA and remarks from UTC- Scientific Committee
- 1:10pm UTC — 1:45pm UTC: Presentation by Marta Catalano
- 1:45pm UTC — 2:20pm UTC: Presentation by Samuel Livingstone
- 2:20pm UTC — 2:55pm UTC: Presentation by Dootika Vats
- 2:55pm UTC — 3:00pm UTC: Final remarks
How to join: Zoom links will be posted in this page when the event date approaches.

We would like to thank the Scientific Committees of the 2021 Blackwell-Rosenbluth Award:

UTC+0 to UTC+13

Kerrie Mengersen, Chair
Daniele Durante, Vice-Chair
Willem van den Boom, j-ISBA Liaison
Julyan Arbel
Clara Grazian
Peter Green
Gregor Kastner
Yongdai Kim
David Nott
Yasuhiro Omori
Lucia Paci
David Rossell
Stéphanie van der Pas
Sara Wade

UTC-12 to UTC-1

Steve MacEachern, Chair
Lorin Crawford, Vice-Chair
Akihiko (Aki) Nishimura, j-ISBA Liaison
Yves Atchade
Andres Christen
David Dahl
Ernest Fokoue
Hedibert Lopes
Luis Nieto-Barajas
Alexandra Schmidt
Surya Tokdar
Sinead Williamson
Yanxun Xu