Elizabeth L. Scott Award

Most Recent Winner     About the Award     Current Committee     Operating Procedures     Nominations     Past Recipients

Most Recent Winner


2022 Elizabeth L. Scott Award
Madhu Mazumdar
Mount Sinai

For serving as an outstanding role model of leadership and creating new leadership opportunities for statisticians; fostering opportunities in statistics and promoting statistical careers for diverse trainees; dedication to training and mentoring the next generation of statistical leaders; and excellence in team science research.

Dr. Mazumdar will deliver the E.L. Scott Lecture at the 2022 Joint Statistical Meetings in Washington DC titled "Biostatistical Methods and Team Science: Generating Evidence for Optimization of Clinical Practice".


Medical knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate, reshaping the health care environment with a steady stream of diagnostic and therapeutic innovations. This has led to substantial improvements in health outcomes but is also associated with a concerning rate of medical error, inefficiency, and variations in practice patterns. Addressing these problems will require health care delivery systems characterized by continuous learning and improvement, in which science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned. Efforts to create such a system include: (i) catalyzing health care delivery research; (ii) adding evaluation components to quality improvement initiatives; (iii) increasing use of electronic health record system (EHR) data for research and data-sharing; and (iv) including front-line clinicians in this research agenda. I’ll present two challenges facing US healthcare: 1) how to choose patients for knee-replacement surgery who will benefit most in terms of their quality of life and what is the cost-effectiveness of this procedure? and 2) how to improve quality of cancer care through modelling of incurred cost? I’ll highlight how biostatistical methods play a crucial role in answering these questions and illustrate how collaborations guided with principles of team science provides opportunity for practicing leadership, embracing diversity, managing conflict, and sharing credit.

Biography of Dr. Mazumdar

Dr. Madhu Mazumdar is a Professor of Biostatistics at the Center of Biostatistics, Department of Population Health Science and Policy and the Director of the Institute for Healthcare Delivery Science at Mount Sinai’s School of Medicine in New York City. She is also the Director of the Biostatistics Core for the Tisch Cancer Institute. In these roles, she helped obtain National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation for the cancer center and multiple grants from National Institute for Aging (NIA) for translational research in geriatric palliative care and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. She was born in India and received her master’s degree in statistics from the University of Delhi. She came to the United States to further her education and received her MS in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, her PhD in statistics from Penn State, and training in leadership from Drexel University through the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) fellowship.  

Prior to joining Mount Sinai in 2014, Dr. Mazumdar committed a decade of her career to Weill Cornell Medical College where she was a professor of biostatistics and the founding chief of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health. She reformed the Biostatistics Core from General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) by integrating biostatisticians across five institutions and by optimizing the process of matching requests for consultation with expertise and availability. This highly productive core aided in obtaining the clinical and translational science center award and Dr. Mazumdar served as the director of the Research Design and Biostatistics Core. Dr. Mazumdar also dedicated many years to cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Cancer Center (MSKCC) as the head of their Masters’ Biostatisticians Group. A major contribution at MSKCC was the development of International Cancer Collaborative Groups for reducing heterogeneity of treatment practices over different institutions. With biostatisticians in lead, these groups created single risk-adapted therapy model for predicting outcomes that were used by all participating institutions for guiding treatment and patient selection in clinical trials. 

Dr. Mazumdar is committed to a team science approach and to developing and disseminating frameworks and best practices to further the field of biostatistics and the careers of her staff, mentees, and collaborators. Her work spans many health fields including orthopedics, oncology, geriatrics and palliative care, neurology, and anesthesiology.  She is passionate about translating scientific evidence into clinical practice using digital medicine and electronic patient reported outcomes. Her collaborative work with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) group has been funded by NIH for creation of a Digital Transformation Network (DTN) that plans to reduce digital disparities and scientifically test the impact of these technologies in a clinical trial in three sites catering to diverse populations and communities. She is a methodologist at heart and specializes in pragmatic clinical trials, predictive analytics, machine learning, meta-analysis, diagnostic test evaluation, and complex sample surveys. Her collaborations in healthcare delivery research have utilized these methods to help change practices at Mount-Sinai hospital and beyond for reducing adverse events (delirium, malnutrition, falls) and for moving the drug formulary for pain-management towards evidence-based cost-effective plans.

Dr. Mazumdar has received accolades for her outstanding work in advancing the field of biostatistics and for her commitment to mentoring others. She received the American Statistical Association’s Fellow Award for achieving excellence in leading biostatistics collaborations, reforming biostatistics units, and mentoring quantitative scientists and clinical researchers. For her work in translating research discoveries into clinical practice, she received the Team Science Award, sponsored jointly by the American Federation of Medical Research, Association for Clinical Research Training, Association for Patient Oriented Research, and Society for Clinical and Translational Science.


Individualized mentorship is a cornerstone of Dr. Mazumdar’s career. She has personally mentored over one hundred professionals, seventy percent of which were women, eleven percent underrepresented minorities, and several LGBTQ. She has advised them on how to conduct the highest quality research, how to gracefully advance their careers, and how to balance work and life. Her leadership style motivates staff to be successful in designing and conducting impactful health science research and be mindful citizens.


About the Award

This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the contributions of Elizabeth L. Scott’s lifelong efforts to further the careers of women in academia.  The award is granted to an individual, male or female, who has helped foster opportunities in statistics for women. The award, given biennially (even years), consists of a plaque and a cash honorarium of $2,000, and is presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). Starting from 2020, the award winner will also deliver an E. L. Scott Lecture at the JSM. See also the Wikipedia page.

Nomination Deadline for 2024 Award: December 15, 2023

2020 Award Committee (Awarded in even-numbered years only):

Li Hsu
 Oct. 2021-Sept. 2025
Talithia Williams
 Oct. 2021-Sept. 2025
Ying Lu
 Oct. 2022-Sept. 2026
Mireille Schnitzer
 Oct. 2019-Sept. 2023
Rebecca Hubbard
 Oct. 2019-Sept. 2023
Dennis Pearl
 Oct. 2019-Sept. 2023
Amanda Golbeck
 2016 Awardee
 Oct. 2020-Sept. 2024

Purpose and History

This award shall recognize an individual who exemplifies the contributions of Elizabeth L. Scott’s lifelong efforts to further the careers of women in academia.  An astronomer by training, she began to work with Jerzy Neyman in the Statistical Laboratory at Berkeley during World War II and had a long, distinguished, career as a professor at Berkeley. She worked in a variety of areas besides astronomy including experimental design, distribution theory, and medical statistics. Later in her career, Dr. Scott became involved with salary inequities between men and women in academia and published several papers on this topic. In addition to her numerous honors and awards, she was president of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) and the Bernoulli Society, vice-president of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and International Statistical Institute (ISI) , and elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) and fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In recognition of her lifelong efforts in the furtherance of the careers of women, this award is granted to an individual who has helped foster opportunities in statistics for women.

Award Committee

The Award Committee selecting the recipient will consist of six members, one member appointed by each of the five COPSS member societies and one member appointed by the Chair of COPSS. The appointment terms for these six members are for two cycles of the award, normally four years. The award winner from 6 years previous to the current award is invited by the COPSS Chair to serve as the seventh committee member. His/her term is for two years. The Chair of the Award Committee will be selected by the Chair of COPSS from among the members of the current Award Committee. The Award Committee can make recommendations for changes to any part of this operations document to COPSS.

Frequency of Award

The award shall be given every other year in even-numbered years if, in the opinion of the Award Committee, an eligible and worthy nominee is found. The Award Committee shall have the option of not giving an award for any given year. The Award Committee may not split the award between more than one winner.

Nominations and Eligibility

The award is open to all regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or citizenship. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.  Nomination submissions will be invited by October of the previous year and will close on December 15th of the prior year in which the award is to be made. Nominations may be made by members of any of the COPSS affiliated organizations. Prior nomination does not exclude a nominee from consideration in subsequent years. No member of the Award Committee, the officer of COPSS, or societal member of COPSS, shall be eligible to receive the award during his or her term of service. Eligible nominations shall be based a nomination letter, letters of support, curriculum vitae, and other appropriate documentation as requested by the Award Committee.

Eligible candidates are expected to adhere to the highest standards of statistical practice, professional conduct, and personal conduct; see the Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice published by the Committee on Professional Ethics of the American Statistical Association: https://www.amstat.org/ASA/Your-Career/Ethical-Guidelines-for-Statistical-Practice.aspx for more information.

Award Committee members should not prepare individual nominations, nor submit letters of support.  However, they should actively recruit nominations for individuals they feel would be competitive for the award.

Selection Criteria

In recognition of Elizabeth L Scott's lifelong efforts in the furtherance of the careers of women, this award is granted to an individual who has helped foster opportunities in statistics for women by developing programs to encourage women to seek careers in statistics; by consistently and successfully mentoring women students or new researchers; by working to identify gender-based inequities in employment; or by serving in a variety of capacities as a role model.

The Award Committee is responsible for the review of selection criteria and can recommend any modifications to COPSS.

Form and Presentation of Award

The award consists of a lecture, a plaque, a citation, and a cash honorarium. It is presented at a special session at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). The amount of the award shall be such that the principal of the fund is left intact. Reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the JSM to receive the award is provided to the recipient, if other funds are unavailable. The award will be presented by the Chair of the Award Committee or their designee.  

Important Dates

  • Members of the Award Committee will be appointed by September 30th of the previous year. Chair of COPSS will work with COPSS members to complete all committee appointments. Chair of COPSS will select the Award Committee chair. If any COPSS member society is unable to appoint their member by October 1st of the previous year, the Award Committee will proceed and complete its work without representation of that society.
  • Call for Nominations in October of the previous year. Secretary/Treasurer of COPSS is responsible for assuring the call is publicized in the COPSS publications, including relevant WebPages, and will work with the Award Committee to find other outlets for the call.
  • December 15th of the previous year of the award year is the close of the nomination period.
  • Award recipient will be selected and notified by March 1st of the award year.
  • Chair of the Award Committee will work with the Secretary/Treasurer of COPSS to provide all the necessary information to the ASA/JSM Awards Coordinator by March 31st of the award year.

Submitting Nominations

Nominations should include the following information to the Chair of the Elizabeth L. Scott Award Committee Chair as a PDF:
  • nominator’s name, address, email address and phone number;
  • nominee’s name and title, institutional affiliation, address, email address, and phone number;
  • a summary of the action(s) that form the basis for the nomination, not to exceed three pages;
  • up to five letters of support – support letters should not come from Award Committee members or members of COPSS;
  • a curriculum vitae containing professional positions held
The call for nominations will include instructions regarding where to mail/email nominations, and if multiple copies are needed. Questions about the Award will be referred to the Award Committee Chair and the COPSS Secretary/Treasurer. Contact information will be included in the call for nominations.

Committee Chair Responsibilities

  • Communicate the award criteria and selection process to Committee members.
  • Ensure distribution of copies of nominations to Committee members.
  • Contact and encourage unsuccessful nominations from the previous award period to be updated and renominated. (COPSS Secretary should have previous unsuccessful nominations).
  • Organize and chair Committee discussion of nominees and selection of award recipient.
  • Inform the Award recipient of their selection.
  • Inform nominator of the recipient.
  • Inform all other nominators that a selection has been made, maintaining the confidentiality of the selection. COPSS Secretary/Treasurer will assist the Committee Chair as needed.
  • Write the citation, and convey the recipient’s name, the citation text, and the ASA/JSM Award Recipient Information form to the COPSS Secretary/Treasurer by March 31st for preparing the plaque.
  • Introduce award and recipient at COPSS Awards Presentation at the JSM
  • Send complete application packets of unsuccessful nominations to COPSS Secretary for future renomination.
  • Communicate any recommendations for changes to any part of this document to the COPSS Chair and Secretary/Treasurer.

Committee Member Responsibilities

  • Work with the chair to adhere to the selection timeline.
  • Participate fairly and openly in the selection deliberations.
  • Request removal from the committee if other time constraints do not allow for adequate attention to the nominations and award process.

COPSS Secretary/Treasurer Responsibilities

  • Review and manage the expenditure of the Award Endowment Fund
  • Publicize award by November of the previous year.
  • Assist Committee Chair in correspondence, as needed.
  • Provide award information to ASA Meetings department ASA/JSM award coordinator by March 31st.
  • Prepare plaques and checks for presentation at the JSM.
  • Coordinate with Committee Chair and ASA staff on Awards presentation
COPSS Chair Responsibilities

  • Ensure that COPSS member societies name Award Committee members by August 1st of the previous year.
  • Select Award Committee Chair by September 31st of the previous year.
  • Help to orient committee members and the Award Committee Chair to their responsibilities.
  • Review potential conflicts of interest and other issues for the Committee Chair, if they arise.
  • Thank committee members and the Award Committee Chair to their responsibilities and solicit suggested improvements to the award process after the award cycle is completed.

Past Recipients

F.N. David
For her efforts in opening the door to women in statistics; for contributions to the profession over many years; for contributions to education, science, and public service; for research contributions to combinatorics, statistical methods, applications, and understanding history; and her spirit as a lecturer and as a role model.
Donna Brogan
Emory University
For her efforts as founder and first president of the Caucus for Women in Statistics; for serving as effective role model and mentor for graduate students and junior faculty; for promoting employment opportunities for women statisticians; and for productive scholarship in the use of statistics to serve the public health, notably in breast cancer epidemiology.
Grace Wahba
Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison
For inspiring a generation of women statistical scientists through her outstanding methodological work in splines and computational methods and her leadership in interdisciplinary research; for quitely improving the image and status of women in academia by maintaining a standard of excellence in her teaching and research, and through her uniquely generous and good humored style.
Ingram Olkin
Stanford University
For his long-standing commitment to fostering opportunities for women in statistics; for his efforts to promote the interests of women in the professional socieities; for his personal service as a mentor for individual women students and junior faculty; for establishing through NSF the highly effective “Stanford Summer Program in Statistics for Women”.
Nancy Flournoy
Univ. of Missouri
For her innovative and highly successful efforts in encouraging women to seek competitive research funding; for envisioning and supporting the pioneering Pathways to the Future Workshops; for serving as a role model and mentor for graduate students and young faculty; for her scholarship in teaching and research, and for her many contributions to the statistical sciences.
Janet Norwood
Retired Director of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics        
For fostering opportunities for women through improved training and salary opportunities; for setting the standard for the advancement of women in statistical positions throughout the federal government; for correcting gender-based inequities at the Bureau of Labor statistics; for mentoring women throughout their careers; and for serving as a role model through her dedication to professionalism and excellence.
Gladys Reynolds
Bell South
For her outstanding leadership and commitment to the field of biostatistics/epidemiology, to national and international health, and to the promotion of women and underrepresented groups to the full potential of their roles in statistics and public health management and professional society positions.
Louise Ryan
CSIRO, Australia
For serving as a highly visible role model for women at Harvard and around the world; for developing an exemplary summer program for recruiting minority and female students to graduate study in biostatistics; for excellent mentoring; and for supervising numerous female PhD students and postdoctoral scholars who now are in position to influence the next generation of women in statistics.
Lynne Billard
Univ. of Georgia
For encouraging women Statisticians as they embarked on their careers and mentoring women as they advanced; For excellent leadership to the profession, serving as a role model to the next generation of women and men in Statistics; And for conducting and publishing studies to understand and end gender-based inequities in Statistics.
Mary E. Thompson
Univ. of Waterloo
For outstanding contributions in research, teaching, and service that have served to inspire women statisticians; For encouraging women at all levels to seek careers in statistics; For excellence in graduate student supervision and mentorship; And for her leadership to minimize gender-based inequalities in employment.
Mary Gray
American University
For her lifelong efforts to foster opportunities in statistics for women and to further the careers of academic women; and for creating a forum for discussing the role of women in mathematics; for exposing discrimination, and for exchanging strategies, encouraging political action, and promoting affirmative action.
Kathryn Chaloner
Univ. of Iowa
For her commitment and success in developing programs to encourage and facilitate women to undertake careers in statistics; for extensive mentoring of women students and young faculty; for work to identify and remove inequities in employment for under-represented components of the profession; and for serving as a role model, balancing work and family while excelling as a teacher, researcher and academic administrator.
Amanda L. Golbeck
Univ. of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
For her outstanding efforts in enhancing the status of women and minorities, fostering new leadership opportunities for women and men, promoting diversity at all levels, and advocating for a more inclusive, open and supportive atmosphere in statistical sciences
Bin Yu
University of California, Berkeley
For principled leadership in the international scientific community; for commitment and actions towards diversity, equity and inclusion; for consistently mentoring and encouraging women students and new researchers in statistics and data science; and for scientific contributions to statistical and machine learning methodology at the highest scholarly level.
Amita Manatunga
Emory University
For dedicated mentoring of the next generation of statisticians; committed leadership in expanding statistical opportunities for women and minorities at the individual, institutional, and professional society levels; and excellence in biostatistical research.