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Statistics And Operational Research

Unit of Assessment
Research Assessment Exercise 2008



By percentage of research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard

UOA 22 Statistics and Operational Research

FTE Cat A Staff submitted for assessment






London School of Economics and Political Science







From developing computer models which help to design Rolls Royce aeroplane engines to assessing the shifting insurance risk from climate change, research from LSE's Department of Statistics is often in demand to help understand the contemporary world.

The department has more than £1 million in income from active research grants and has also benefited from substantial internal investment in recent years, allowing it to continue improving its research capabilities. Staff come from 10 different countries, and four members of staff are associate editors of major academic journals or editors of monograph series.

Professor Qiwei Yao, head of department, said: "This department is an intellectual hothouse, from undergraduate level to senior staff. The work we conduct in several areas is at the very frontier of research. The Department is also home to academics who are world leaders in their fields and we attract some of the very best students."

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise|, 15 per cent of the department's research was rated as 'world-leading' (the highest category) with a further 40 per cent considered to be 'internationally excellent'.

Work in the department is divided among four major research groups:

  • The Risk and Stochastics Group has a strong focus on modern insurance and finance-related study; Professor Ragnar Norberg is regarded internationally as a leading actuarial scientist.
  • The Time Series Group works on non-linear time series analysis, and has strong links with many other disciplines, including geography and econometrics. Professors Howell Tong (recently awarded the Royal Statistical Society's Guy Medal in Silver), Qiwei Yao and Lenny Smith are leading experts in the area.
  • The Decision Support and Risk Group has strong external links, especially with the EU and with industry. Professor Henry Wynn is a pioneering co-founder of the area of algebraic statistics which applies computer algebra to both static and dynamic statistical models. This has important spin-offs for industrial experimentation, and compartmental modelling in biology.
  • The Social Statistics Group is a newer and expanding group which works with  LSE's Methodology Institute.

The department's younger staff make a strong showing on the research front, with an impressive list of recent prizes, journal publications and conference presentations. There is also an active programme of visiting academics, and recent visiting professors have included Jinqing Fan, Peter Hall (FRS), and Jef Teugels.

Overall the department works to keep a balance between applied and theoretical research.

Please note that LSE's Operational Research Group is part of the Department of Management and its research output was submitted within the Business and Management Studies| Unit of Assessment.

See Definitions of Quality| 4*, 3*, 2*, 1* and u/c

See RAE 2008 Analysis of Results| in the RPDD website for more detailed information.