Robert Weiss, a professor of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has been recognized by two prestigious professional societies in the space of a month for his outstanding contributions to his field.

On April 20, Weiss was elected a fellow of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, which recognized him for “the wide-ranging impact of his work in Bayesian modeling in the health and behavioral sciences and as an extraordinary and dedicated mentor of numerous Bayesian statisticians.” A week later, on April 28, he became a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. In honoring him, the organization cited Weiss’ “several outstanding and fundamental contributions to the theory and methods related to Bayesian statistics and inference, longitudinal modeling and their numerous applications to medical sciences and public health.”

“When I think about receiving the two awards this year, a bemused feeling washes over me,” Weiss said. “Separate from my accomplishments, these awards require hard work on the part of my colleagues. I am very grateful to my colleagues who organized the nominations and to the colleagues who wrote letters for me.”

Weiss is an expert in Bayesian analysis — a statistical method in which new data and expert opinion and knowledge are used to update the probability of a given hypothesis — and employs this technique along with other methods of data analysis and statistical modeling in analyzing human behavior in the context of public health. His research has focused on HIV-positive individuals and those at risk of HIV, drug abusers, childhood nutrition, and hospital emergency department visitors, among other topics.

“Professor Weiss is a truly outstanding statistician and highly deserving of these international recognitions,” said Sudipto Banerjee, a professor and chair of the biostatistics department at the Fielding School of Public Health. “It is important to note that both these recognitions reflect the deeply intellectual contributions that Professor Weiss has made in the fields of Bayesian statistics and broader theoretical statistics. Our department could not have been prouder of his achievements. It is such an honor for me personally to have him as a colleague.”