Castruccio earns two honors for his work in environmental statistics

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Stefano Castruccio, Huisking Foundation Inc. Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Computational Mathematics and Statistics (ACMS) at the University of Notre Dame, has been granted the 2020 Early Investigator Award from the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the 2021 Abdeel El Shaarawi Early Investigator Award from The International Environmetrics Society (TIES).

Stefano Castruccio

The two global awards represent the two highest honors for an early career statistician working in environmental statistics, and only rarely have researchers received both. 

“It is a considerable acknowledgment of my academic work, but it also underscores the duty that I now have to prompt my discipline to younger scholars, as well as beyond the boundaries of academia to stakeholders involved in environmental issues,” Castruccio said.

His research is at the intersection of data science and environmental problems. His award from TIES was granted because of his contributions in developing models for spatial and spatio-temporal environmental data, as well as his applied research in air pollution monitoring, renewable energy and data visualization. His award from the ASA, from the section on Statistics and the Environment, is based on his contributions to the methods, issues, concepts, applications, and initiatives of environmental statistics.

“Professor Castruccio is a deserving recipient of these awards based on an outstanding interdisciplinary research record in environmental statistics as well as being a dedicated instructor and advisor,” said Jonathan Hauenstein, professor and chair of ACMS. “The department is appreciative of Castruccio's many contributions and congratulates him for these national and international awards.”

Castruccio credits his work as a teacher and a collaborator at Notre Dame for making a difference in his career. 

“Teaching is a very important part of curriculum growth here; it’s deeply ingrained in the culture of Notre Dame,” Castruccio said. “As a result, a push to be a good teacher helped me tremendously in being a better communicator in every aspect of my career.”

Collaborating with people from other departments has also helped, and added, “statistics is a special scientific discipline, and can be applied to virtually every field in STEM and beyond.”

Castruccio, who is affiliated with the Environmental Change Initiative, the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative, and ND Energy, started at Notre Dame in 2017. He earned his master’s degree from Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and his doctoral degree from the University of Chicago. In 2018 he read a paper before the Royal Statistical Society, and in 2017 he won the Wilcoxon Award for the best paper in the journal Technometrics. He was elected to the International Statistical Institute in 2017.