Statistics and Space: Three New AAAS Fellows

2018 AAAS fellows in the College of Letters and Science
From the left: Jiming Jiang, Thomas Lee and Sarah Stewart

Three faculty members of the College of Letters and Science are among the 10 UC Davis faculty elected to the 2019 class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Here are the new fellows:

Jiming Jiang, professor of statistics

Jiang was recognized for his fundamental contributions to statistical theory, methods and education, particularly in the fields of mixed effects models and small area estimation. Mixed effects models are used when researchers examine data sets that are strongly linked together, such as multiple online purchases made by different customers. His other interests include small area estimation with applications to survey data, asymptotics and large sample statistics, and developing better and more accurate statistical models.

Jiang is an elected member of the International Statistical Institutes and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association. He was named a Yangtze River (Changjiang) Scholar in 2016 by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China.

Jiang received his B.S. in mathematics and his M.S. in probability and statistics at Peking University in China. He earned his Ph.D. in statistics from University of California, Berkeley. 

Thomas C.M. Lee, professor of statistics

Lee was elected for his distinguished contributions to the field of statistics, particularly for inference, non-parametric and high-dimensional problems and interdisciplinary collaborations. Lee and his collaborators developed a unifying theory for generalized fiducial inference, providing solutions to many challenging practical problems of statistical inference in different fields of science and industry. 

Lee is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He is the past editor of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, and is associate dean of faculty in the mathematical and physical sciences for the College of Letters and Science.

He received his B.S. in math at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Lee earned his Ph.D. jointly at Macquarie University and CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences in Sydney. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Chicago, Colorado State University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and joined the UC Davis faculty in 2010. 

Sarah Stewart, professor of earth and planetary sciences

Stewart was honored for her distinguished work advancing the theory of how celestial collisions give rise to planets and moons, which provides a comprehensive basis for understanding planet formation.

Stewart develops new ideas about the evolution of the Earth and other planets. Her Shockwave Compression Laboratory uses what are essentially mounted cannons to reproduce conditions reached during the violent collisions that form planets. The experiments fuel novel ideas into how the Earth and moon formed, and help scientists better understand planets outside our solar system.

Stewart was recently honored with a 2018 MacArthur "genius" grant. She has received the Harold C. Urey Prize from the American Astronomical Society and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

She received her B.S. in physics at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology. Stewart was a professor at Harvard from 2003 to 2014 before joining UC Davis.

For the full list of fellows from UC Davis, visit

Becky Oskin, content strategist in the College of Letters and Science