Statistical Science


Professor Valerie Isham

Valerie Isham…
Biographical Details

Valerie Isham is Emeritus Professor of Probability and Statistics at University College London. She is also Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick. She has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and studied for a PhD in Statistics from the University of London at Imperial College under Professor Sir David Cox, where her thesis was on point processes. She joined UCL in 1978, following a temporary appointment at Imperial College, and has been a professor there since 1992. She was awarded the Guy Medal in Bronze by the Royal Statistical Society in 1990. At UCL she served as Head of the Department of Statistical Science from 1996-2002 and again from 2010-2011. She served as Member of Council of the Bernoulli Society from 2003-7, and again from 2015—19, and gave the Bernoulli Lecture at the World Congress of Probability and Statistics in 2016. She was President of the Royal Statistical Society for 2011 and 2012, and in 2018 she received the Forder Lectureship from the London Mathematical Society and the New Zealand Mathematical Society. She chaired the Scientific Steering Committee of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, UK (INI) from 2014 to 2020. She has co-organised several research programmes at the INI including the virtual programme on Infectious Dynamics of Pandemics  that ran from May to December 2020. In 2022, she was awarded an honorary fellowship of the INI on the occasion of the Institute’s 30th anniversary. She has chaired the Biometrika Trust since 2014. Her research interests lie in applied probability: broadly, the development and application of stochastic models. Particular fields of application include models for spatial and spatio-temporal processes arising in the physical sciences, and especially in hydrology (eg soil moisture and precipitation), and in the life and medical sciences, focussing particularly on population processes, epidemics and the transmission dynamics of infection and information on networks.