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Utah State alum wins national math award

  1. October 14, 2008
  2. By Kim Burgess, staff writer

A former Aggie has won a prestigious national award for economics research.

Lars Peter Hansen, a 1974 Utah State University graduate, will receive the CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications on Oct. 24. The annual prize recognizes mathematical or statistical contributions to the understanding of market behavior.

In addition to a prize medal, Hansen will be presented with a $25,000 cash award during a ceremony at the Chicago headquarters of CME Group, an international financial services company. CME is offering the honor in conjunction with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
, a research center in Berkeley, Calif.

Leo Melamed, a member of the prize selection committee and former head of CME Group, said Hansen richly deserves the award, crediting him with developing one of the top statistical tools for the analysis of financial data.

“(His) decades of mathematical research have brought about significant advances in the world of financial economics,” Melamed explained.

Hansen earned a bachelor s degree in math from USU, then completed a doctorate in economics at the University of Minnesota.

In 1981, he joined the University of Chicago’s economics and statistics department and quickly gained a reputation in financial data testing and estimation.

“Probability theory and statistics provide wonderful tools to explore financial economics,” Hansen said. “I expect they will continue to provide insights into the understanding of the economic underpinnings of financial markets just as they have served other scientific fields of endeavor.”

In addition to the CME Group-MSRI Prize, Hansen has received the 2006 Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics from Northwestern University and the Frisch Medal from the Econometric Society.