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Carriquiry Receives the Florence Nightingale David Award

Alicia Carriquiry
Alicia Carriquiry

The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) has awarded the 2021 Florence Nightingale David Award to Alicia Carriquiry of Iowa State University.

Carriquiry will receive the award Aug. 11 during the Joint Statistical Meeting in Seattle, where she will also deliver the Florence Nightingale David Lecture. Her presentation will be “Statistics in the Pursuit of Justice—A More Principled Strategy to Analyze Forensic Evidence.”

“I am honored to be receiving the Florence Nightingale David Award,” said Carriquiry, a Distinguished Professor and President’s Chair of statistics. “It is always rewarding to be recognized by your colleagues.”

The award, sponsored jointly by COPSS and the Caucus for Women in Statistics, recognized Carriquiry for her contributions to the profession that have spanned over 30 years.

“I am delighted that Dr. Carriquiry is the recipient of this award,” said Dan Nettleton, Distinguished Professor and chair of statistics at Iowa State. In his nomination of Carriquiry, he wrote, “Carriquiry is an outstanding role model for female statisticians, for statisticians from Latin America and for any statistician who seeks to have an important impact on science.”

Carriquiry researches applications of statistics in human nutrition, bioinformatics, forensic sciences and traffic safety and has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles in academic journals. Nettleton noted in his nomination that Carriquiry’s research has been used to make a difference in the world. She has worked with various government and health agencies around the world to improve health and nutrition, including the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Institutes of Health, the European Union and the World Health Organization.

For the past six years, Carriquiry has been the director of the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE), a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Excellence. With more than 80 researchers from across six universities, CSAFE is developing statistically sound and scientifically solid methods to analyze and interpret evidence, providing the forensic community with accessible tools, open-source databases and educational opportunities.

Carriquiry has published cutting-edge work on source matching for bullet markings, glass fragments, footwear impressions and handwriting analysis. Her work potentially could have a significant and beneficial impact on the U.S. criminal justice system.

Carriquiry received a master’s degree in animal science from the University of Illinois and a master’s and doctoral degree in statistics and animal genetics from Iowa State. She joined the Iowa State faculty in 1990 and has held various leadership roles at the university.

As the first female faculty member promoted to full professor in the Department of Statistics, Carriquiry continues to advocate for female and early-career faculty by providing them with opportunities for success. “We now have 15 other female faculty members who have benefited from the path Dr. Carriquiry blazed before them and from her subsequent advocacy and support,” said Nettleton.

Carriquiry is a fellow of several statistical associations, including the American Statistical Association, the International Statistical Institute, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the International Society for Bayesian Analysis. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She joined the Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. In 2018, Carriquiry became a technical advisor for the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners, and in 2020 was elected an associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.