People Decision sciences

Filippo Ascolani's Study Wins Another Award

, by Andrea Costa
The doctoral student is honored with the Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award for his early achievements

Bocconi doctoral student Filippo Ascolani has been selected to receive the 2024 Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award by the US-based Institute of Mathematical Statistics, whose mission is to foster the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. Chanwoo Lee, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Yuling Yan, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are the other two winning scholars.

The Award, which is regarded as very prestigious within the scientific community and is bestowed on only three nominees each year, is yet another accolade for the paper "Nonparametric Priors with Full Range Borrowing of Information". The paper, which had already garnered considerable acclaim, was written together with Beatrice Franzolini, Antonio Lijoi and Igor Prünster, who all belong to the Bocconi Department of Decision Sciences and the Bocconi Institute for Data Science and Analytics.

The paper studies the implications of Bayesian statistical models in terms of relationships between groups of observations. In particular, a new measure of dependence, called a hypertie, is introduced that captures both positive and negative associations between groups. This allows researchers to define a more flexible class of models that can incorporate a very broad spectrum of forms of dependence between sets of observations. As an example, different classes of financial instruments, such as stocks and bonds, may show opposite behaviors depending on market conditions.

Filippo Ascolani said, "I am deeply honored to be receiving this prestigious award, and I hope I will prove to be worthy of such recognition. A large part of this recognition goes to my PhD advisors, Antonio Lijoi and Igor Prünster, whom I cannot thank enough."

Filippo will defend his PhD thesis in January 2024 and is about to move to the United States, as assistant professor at the Department of Statistical Science of Duke University.