The foundations of the science of forecasting

30. October 2023

HITS Scientific Director Tilmann Gneiting receives the 2024 Ulf Grenander Prize in Stochastic Theory and Modeling for seminal work in environmental and stochastic modeling, with applications to computational weather forecasting, and for research in probability theory and mathematical statistics.

Tilmann Gneiting (photo: HITS/Saueressig)

We all are aware that weather is a complex, chaotic system that poses challenges to forecasters. However, intense interaction and collaboration between meteorologists and mathematical scientists have led to major improvements in weather prediction.  One of the most influential researchers in this field has now received the “2024 Ulf Grenander Prize in Stochastic Theory and Modeling” by the American Mathematical Society (AMS):  Tilmann Gneiting, HITS group leader and the current Scientific Director of the institute. Gneiting also serves as Professor of Computational Statistics in the Department of Mathematics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

“Gneiting’s foundational work on statistical post-processing for numerical weather forecasts provides the basis for current practice worldwide”, the AMS state in their official announcement. “Gneiting is most widely known for foundational work on probabilistic forecasting. His two very highly cited 2007 papers have attracted considerable attention in the real-world weather forecasting community, including the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, with which Gneiting has conducted extensive research.” The prize will be awarded at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco in January 2024.

“A common thread of my research is a thorough theoretical treatment that is deeply rooted in analysis, probability theory, and mathematical statistics, yet driven by applications, particularly in the atmospheric, environmental, and earth sciences”, Tilmann Gneiting responds to the award. “While mathematical and statistical techniques are instrumental in solving a wealth of real-world problems, inspiration goes both ways, and intense interaction with applied problems continues to prompt advances in our fields.”

With the Ulf Grenander Prize, awarded every three years, the AMS recognizes exceptional theoretical and applied contributions in stochastic theory and modeling. It is awarded for seminal work in the areas of probabilistic modeling, statistical inference, or related computational algorithms, especially for the analysis of complex or high-dimensional systems.

For more information see the AMS press release:

Press Contact:
Dr. Peter Saueressig, Head of Communications
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS)
Tel: +49 6221 533 245

About HITS

HITS, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, was established in 2010 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural, mathematical, and computer sciences. Major research directions include complex simulations across scales, making sense of data, and enabling science via computational research. Application areas range from molecular biology to astrophysics. An essential characteristic of the Institute is interdisciplinarity, implemented in numerous cross-group and cross-disciplinary projects. The base funding of HITS is provided by the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

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