Orange Alert

Innovator from the Mathematics Department Receives the Abraham Wald Prize

Pinyuen Chen honored for his work in the field of sequential analysis.

June 21, 2024, by Kerrie Marshall

Elena Receiving Award
Elena Buzaianu accepted the prize on behalf of herself, Chen and Hsu at Utah Valley University .

Professor Pinyuen Chen from the department of mathematics has received an award that honors the best publication each year from the journal of Sequential Analysis. The Abraham Wald Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of sequential analysis. Sequential analysis is a technique in mathematical statistics that, unlike classical techniques, analyzes data in real-time, allowing researchers to make decisions on whether to stop or continue an experiment as new data comes in, often leading to faster and more efficient results. It was developed during World War II as a tool to improve industrial quality control for the war effort.

Chen’s paper "A Restricted Subset Selection Procedure for Selecting the Largest Normal Mean Under Heteroscedasticity" was co-authored by Elena Buzaianu, who received a Ph.D. from Syracuse in 2006, with Chen as her advisor, and Lifang Hsu, professor of mathematics at Le Moyne College. There is a connection from Chen to the namesake for the award, Abraham Wald. Wald, a mathematician who founded the field of sequential analysis, was the advisor for Milton Sobel, subsequently Chen’s advisor for his dissertation in 1982 at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Pinyuen Chen

Teaching at Syracuse University since 1982, he is both a serial collaborator and an innovator, "I thank the department and my colleagues for giving me the time to work on my favorite research in the last 42 years,” says Chen.

Chen conducts interdisciplinary research with scholars from other disciplines at Syracuse and around the world. He is a senior member of the Statistics Group and affiliated with the Applied Statistics Program at Syracuse University, both interdisciplinary programs within the College of Arts and Sciences that also include faculty from computer and information sciences, management, psychology and the social sciences. Chen has worked on military projects with electrical engineers, at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio on data used for radar signal-processing that may improve the detection and specific location and speed of a target.

“It’s always a thrill when our faculty are recognized for their outstanding scholarship,” says Graham Leuschke, professor and chair of mathematics. “The entire department is proud of Professor Chen’s accomplishment, and it’s especially sweet that our former Ph.D. student, Elena Buzaianu, was recognized as well.”

This is the 20th anniversary of the Abraham Wald Prize, established in 2004 and first awarded at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Minneapolis in August 2005. Elena Buzaianu accepted the award for Chen and the team in a special 2-hour ceremony at the 8th International Workshop in Sequential Methodologies (IWSM2024), held at Utah Valley University.


Pinyuen Chen Professor

Media Contact

Kerrie Marshall