Dr Zdravko Botev and colleagues have been awarded the 2019 Gavin Brown Prize, presented at the opening ceremony of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society yesterday morning at Monash University.
The Gavin Brown Prize was established in 2011 to recognise “an outstanding single article, monograph or book consisting of original research in Pure Mathematics”, published within the decade preceding the year of the award.
Dr Botev and University of Queensland Professors Joseph Grotowski and Dirk Kroese were awarded for their paper, Kernel Density Estimation Via Diffusion, published in the Annals of Statistics in 2010.
Dr Botev received his PhD from the University of Queensland in 2010. He joined the UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics in 2011, where he is currently a Senior Lecturer.
The winning paper has been described as ‘stunning’, ‘exceptionally well written’ and ‘extraordinary’. Marrying ideas from mathematical analysis and applied statistics, the trio have been praised for their fast kernel density estimator, which also achieves excellent accuracy thanks to an ingenious bandwidth selection algorithm.
This paper has been cited 820 times (Scopus 4/12/2019), an extraordinary number of citations for a paper in the mathematical sciences.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Dr Botev said the award was a humbling honour that recognised four years of tireless search resulting in a compelling and beautiful estimator.
"This work is yet another example of the unifying power of mathematics - our estimator uses the abstract concepts originally due to Fourier, Einstein and others, that describe phenomena ranging from the spread of heat in objects through to the spread of information in social networks,” he said.
A very big congratulations to Zdravko!