Letisha Smith Wins 2018 Writing Award

Brian Tarran

Letisha Smith of New York University was recently honored with Significance magazine’s 2018 Award for Statistical Excellence in Early Career Writing for her article,”Cooking Up Statistics: The Science and the Art.” The paper focuses on food waste and squeezed household budgets and uses statistical clustering methods to group recipes of similar ingredients, which helps people shop smarter.

Smith succeeds in taking readers through the process of data collection, cleaning, and analysis in a way that is clear, concise, and relatable. She uses the structure of food preparation to draw parallels with data preparation, while taking the time to explain what she is doing and why. Her article will be published in the October 2018 issue of Significance.

Runners-up included Mats Julius Stensrud and Morten Valberg of the University of Oslo for “Curing Cancer: Mere Rhetoric or a Promising Plan?” and Thomai Tsiftsi of Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico for “The Trillion-Dollar Storm (or, How Much Can We Trust Our Sun?).” Their articles will be published online later this year.