Sylvia Richardson and Ian Horrocks - our two new honoray doctors.

Sylvia Richardson and Ian Horrocks - our two new Honorary Doctors

Today, Professor Sylvia Richardson from the University of Cambridge and Professor Ian Horrock from the University of Oxford will receive their Honorary degrees at the University of Oslo for their outstanding contributions to science and technology - Richardson in the areas of statistics and biostatistics, and Horrocks within computer science and logics. You can here read a version of my presentation of Richardsen and Horrocks to be held in the University Aula later today. The ceremony is a part of the annual celebration of the University of Oslo.

Honorary doctors and the University's annual celebration

This is an important day for the University of Oslo. Every year, as close as possible to the 2. september (our birthday), we have our annual celebration. Every third year the faculty is asked to appoint two Honorary doctors.

Based on proposals from our professors we decided to ask the University board to appoint professor Silvia Richardson from the University of Cambridge and professor Ian Horrocks from the University of Oxford as our new Honoray doctors.

In addition to beeing outstanding researchers in their respective fields, both Richardson and Horrocks has over many years given significant contributions to the development of important research activities at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences here in Oslo. Richardson has also been involved with researchers at the Faculty of Medicine. The following text is a version of my presentation of Richardson and Horrocks in the University Aula later today.

They were also interviewed by Titan upon their arival in Oslo (unfortunately only in Norwegian):

Sylvia Richardson

Sylvia Richardson is a world leading statistician. With particular focus on bio-medical challenges she has made groundbreaking contributions within the realm of statistics.

Richardson is Professor in Biostatistics at Cambridge University, and she is also known as a visionary and inspiring Director of the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge. Her work in spatial statistics has improved the understanding of important challenges within environment and health. Together with her many students, Richardson has advanced the theory of Bayesian statistics, leading to important results in epidemiology, systems biology and genomics.

Richardson has received the Royal Statistical Society Guy Medal in Silver, and the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award for outstanding scientists. She is Elected Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences for her exceptional contributions to the medical sciences.

Sylvia Richardson generously collaborates with the departments of Mathematics and Biostatistics at the University of Oslo, and she is also affiliated with the BigInsight center – one our new centers for research based innovation, addressing statistics for the knowledge society.

I kindly ask Rector to present Sylvia Richardson with the diploma and the doctoral ring, the insignia of the University of Oslo's honorary doctors.

Ian Horrocks

Ian Horrocks is a computer scientist and logician. Horrocks is professor at the University of Oxford and fellow of Oriel College. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of Academia Europaea, and a fellow of the European AI Society (ECCAI).

Horrocks' research is within one of the most important fields in the realm of computer science today - digital representation of knowledge and methods for efficient and robust handling of such knowledge by computers.

Ian Horrocks played an important leading role in establishing Semantic Web as a significant research field, by pioneering some of the central underlying logics, important algorithms, optimization techniques, and reasoning systems.  These technologies are now becoming a part of modern data science and gaining wide industrial uptake. 

Ian Horrocks has, over many years, actively supported the establishment of the data science group at the Department of Informatics here at the University of Oslo.  In particular, he has been instrumental in attracting the EU project Optique – one of the largest EU project ever coordinated from Norway, as well as the new SIRIUS centre for research based innovation focusing on access and use of huge amounts of data from various sources.

I kindly ask Rector to present Ian Horrocks with the diploma and the doctoral ring, the insignia of the University of Oslo's honorary doctors.