Adrian Smith (statistician)

Adrian Smith
Born Adrian Frederick Melhuish Smith
1946 (age 6970)
Dawlish, England[1]
Residence UK
Nationality UK
Fields Statistics
Institutions Imperial College London
Queen Mary, University of London
Alma mater University of Cambridge
University College London
Doctoral advisor Dennis Lindley[2]
Doctoral students David Spiegelhalter
Notable awards Guy Medal (Bronze, 1977) (Silver, 1993) (Gold, 2016)

Sir Adrian Frederick Melhuish Smith, FRS (born 1946) is a distinguished British statistician and was Principal of Queen Mary, University of London from 1998 to 2008. From 1977–1990 he was Professor of Statistics and Head of Department of Mathematics at the University of Nottingham. He was previously at Imperial College, London, where he was head of the mathematics department. Smith is a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of London and became Vice-Chancellor of the university on 1 September 2012.[3]

Smith is a member of the governing body of the London Business School. He served on the Advisory Council for the Office for National Statistics from 19961998, was Statistical Advisor to the Nuclear Waste Inspectorate from 19911998 and was advisor on Operational Analysis to the Ministry of Defence from 19821987. He is a former President of the Royal Statistical Society. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. His FRS citation included "his diverse contributions to Bayesian statistics. His monographs are the most comprehensive available and his work has had a major impact on the development of monitoring tools for clinicians."

In statistical theory, Smith is a proponent of Bayesian statistics and evidence-based practicea general extension of evidence-based medicine into all areas of public policy. With Antonio Machi, he translated Bruno de Finetti's Theory of Probability into English. He wrote an influential paper in 1990 along with Alan E. Gelfand, which drew attention to the significance of the Gibbs sampler technique for Bayesian numerical integration problems. He was also co-author of the seminal paper on the particle filter (Gordon, Salmond and Smith, 1993). Smith was educated at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and University College London where his PhD supervisor was Dennis Lindley.

In mathematics and statistics education, Smith led the team which produced the Smith Report on secondary mathematics education in the United Kingdom.

In April 2008, Smith was appointed as Director General of Science and Research at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (since merged with another department to form the UK's BIS). He took up his post in September 2008. His annual remuneration for this role is £160,000.[4]

Smith was knighted in the 2011 New Year Honours.[5]

Honorary doctorates

In 2011 Smith was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Plymouth University and in 2015, an Honorary Doctorate of Science from The Ohio State University.



  1. Upton, Graham; Cook, Ian. "Adrian Smith". A Dictionary of Statistics. Oxford University Press.
  2. Adrian Smith at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. "New Vice-Chancellor of the University of London". IQuad. Royal Holloway, University of London. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  4. "Top civil servant salary list published". Directgov. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59647. p. 1. 31 December 2010.

See also

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Crossick
Vice-Chancellor of the University of London
Succeeded by
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