Agnes Scott College

Nancy Margaret Reid

Nancy Reid

September 17, 1952 -

Nancy Reid received her B.Math degree from the University of Waterloo in 1974 with a major in statistics, her M.Sc. in statistics from the University of British Columbia in 1976, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1979. Her dissertation at Stanford was on "Influence Functions for Censored Data" [Abstract] under the supervision of R. G. Miller, Jr. Reid is currently the University Professor of Statistics at the University of Toronto where she has taught since 1986. In announcing her appointment as University Professor in 2003, the Provost's office at the University of Toronto reported that:

Two of her works have been particularly influential. In 1987, her paper with Sir David Cox on orthogonal parameters and approximate conditional inference was read to the Royal Statistical Society. This very important contribution to the fabric of statistical theory introduced notions of parameter orthogonality to develop and extend conditional inference, and derived the "Cox-Reid likelihood", still a standard method for correcting the likelihood in complex problems. This paper has been and continues to be widely cited, and has led to considerable further research by Reid and others. She has also developed new methods for obtaining highly accurate inference from the likelihood function, in a joint research program with Professor Emeritus D.A.S. Fraser. This extends and develops ideas first promoted by Fisher in the 1930s and has led to deeper understanding of the foundations of statistical inference.

In 1992 Reid became the first woman to receive the Presidents' Award of the Committee of Statistical Societies, awarded annually to a young statistician in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession of statistics. In 1995 she presented the first Canadian Mathematics Society Prize-Lectureship for distinguished research by women in mathematics, now known as the Krieger-Nelson Prize Lectureship. In 2000 she was invited to give the Wald lectures at the annual meeting of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the most important invited lecture series in theoretical statistics. She received a 2003 Faculty of Mathematics Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo "for her internationally recognized research accomplishments in the field of statistics, and for her outstanding contributions to university education and professional societies."

During 1996-1997 Reid served as the President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and in 2004-2005 as President of the Statistical Society of Canada. She served as chair of the statistics department at the University of Toronto from 1997 to 2002. She has also served as Editor of the Canadian Journal of Statistics and Vice-President of the International Statistical Institute. In 2001 she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has authored over 70 journal publications in statistics as well as four books, including The Theory of Design of Experiments with Sir David R. Cox.

In 2008 Reid received the Emanuel and Carol Parzen Prize for Statistical Innovation from the Department of Statistics at Texas A&M University in recognition "for leadership in statistical science, for outstanding research in theoretical statistics and highly accurate inference from the likelihood function, and for influential contributions to statistical methods in biology, environmental science, high energy physics, and complex social surveys." In 2009 she received the Florence Nightingale David Award and was also awarded the Statistical Society of Canada Gold Medal Award.


  1. Nancy Reid's home page
  2. Staicu, Ana-Maria. "Interview with Nancy Reid", International Statistical Review, Vol. 85, No. 3 (December 2017), 381-403
  3. MathSciNet [subscription required]
  4. Author Profile at zbMath
  5. Mathematics Genealogy Project

Photo Source: Portraits of Statisticians, The University of York