David Hand

Hand in 2015
David John Hand

(1950-06-30) 30 June 1950 (age 73)
Peterborough, England
Alma materUniversity of Oxford (BA)
University of Southampton (PhD)
AwardsGuy Medal (2002)
George Box Medal (2016)
Scientific career
Machine learning
Data mining
Data science
Big data[1]
InstitutionsOpen University
Imperial College London
Winton Capital Management[2]
ThesisThe Classification of Incomplete Vectors (1977)
Doctoral advisorBruce Godfrey Batchelor [Wikidata][3]
Websitewww.imperial.ac.uk/people/d.j.hand Edit this at Wikidata

David John Hand OBE FBA (born 30 June 1950 in Peterborough)[2][4] is a British statistician.[1] His research interests include multivariate statistics, classification methods, pattern recognition, computational statistics and the foundations of statistics.[5] He has written technical books on statistics, data mining, finance, classification methods, and measuring wellbeing, as well as science popularisation books including The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day;[6] Dark Data: Why What You Don't Know Matters;[7] and Statistics: A Very Short Introduction. In 1991 he launched the journal Statistics and Computing.


Hand was educated at the University of Oxford and the University of Southampton where he was awarded a PhD in 1977[8] for research supervised by Bruce Godfrey Batchelor [Wikidata].[3]

Career and research

Hand served as professor of statistics at the Open University from 1988 until 1999, when he moved to Imperial College London, where he is now[when?] Emeritus Professor of Mathematics. Between 2010 and 2018 he took an extended sabbatical to serve as chief scientific advisor at Winton Capital Management.[2] He served as president of the Royal Statistical Society from 2008 to 2009, then again in 2010 after Bernard Silverman stood down.[9]


Hand has published 31 books, inter alia:


Hand has published over 300 scientific articles, inter alia:

Awards and honours

Hand has received various awards for his work, including being elected Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1999, the Guy Medal in Silver of the Royal Statistical Society in 2002, the IEEE ICDM Outstanding Contributions Award in 2004, the Credit Collections and Risk Award for Contributions to the Credit Industry in 2012, the George Box Medal for Business and Industrial Statistics in 2016, and the International Federation of Classification Societies Research Medal in 2019. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to research and innovation.[22][23] He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 2003.[4]

In April 2013 until June 2021 he served on the board of the board of the UK Statistics Authority as a non-executive director[24] and served on the European Statistical Advisory Committee, advising the European Commission from 2016 to 2021. He chaired the Administrative Data Research Network from 2014 to 2017 and serves on many other advisory committees, including chairing the Advisory Board of the ONS's Centre for Applied Data Ethics and the National Statistician's Expert User Advisory Committee.


  1. ^ a b David Hand publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c Anon (2007). "Hand, Prof. David John". Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). Oxford: A & C Black. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U4000379. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b David Hand at the Mathematics Genealogy Project Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ a b Prof David Hand Authorised Biography at Debrett's People of Today. Accessed 27 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Professor David Hand". Imperial College London. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  6. ^ a b The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen All the Time. Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-17534-4
  7. ^ a b Dark Data: Why What You Don’t Know Matters ISBN 978-0691182377
  8. ^ Hand, David John (1977). The Classification of Incomplete Vectors (PhD thesis). University of Southampton. OCLC 1116600745. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.458058.
  9. ^ "Past President". The Royal Statistical Society. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  10. ^ (with Mannila H. and Smyth P). Principles of Data Mining. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262082907
  11. ^ Measurement Theory and Practice: the World Through Quantification. Wiley,ISBN 978-0470685679
  12. ^ (with Paul Allin). The Wellbeing of Nations: Meaning, Motive and Measurement. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-48957-4
  13. ^ 2020. (with Paul Allin) From GDP to Sustainable Wellbeing: Changing Statistics or Changing Lives? Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-3030530846
  14. ^ Hand, D. J.; Henley, W. E. (1997). "Statistical Classification Methods in Consumer Credit Scoring: A Review". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society). 160 (3): 523–541. doi:10.1111/j.1467-985X.1997.00078.x. JSTOR 2983268. S2CID 18547380.
  15. ^ Hand, David J.; Blunt, Gordon; Kelly, Mark G.; Adams, Niall M. (2000). "Data Mining for Fun and Profit". Statistical Science. 15 (2): 111–126. JSTOR 2676725.
  16. ^ Hand, David J.; Yu, Keming (2001). "Idiot's Bayes: Not So Stupid after All?". International Statistical Review / Revue Internationale de Statistique. 69 (3): 385–398. doi:10.2307/1403452. JSTOR 1403452.
  17. ^ Bolton, Richard J.; Hand, David J. (2002). "Statistical Fraud Detection: A Review". Statistical Science. 17 (3). doi:10.1214/ss/1042727940.
  18. ^ Hand, David J. (2006). "Classifier Technology and the Illusion of Progress". Statistical Science. 21. doi:10.1214/088342306000000060. S2CID 16325617.
  19. ^ with Ross Quinlan, Qiang Yang, Philip S. Yu and Zhou Zhihua et al.. Knowledge and Information Systems 14.1: 1-37 doi:10.1007/s10115-007-0114-2
  20. ^ Hand, David J. (2009). "Measuring classifier performance: A coherent alternative to the area under the ROC curve". Machine Learning. 77: 103–123. doi:10.1007/s10994-009-5119-5. hdl:10044/1/18420. S2CID 207211591.
  21. ^ Hand, David J. (2018). "Statistical challenges of administrative and transaction data". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A (Statistics in Society). 181 (3): 555–605. doi:10.1111/rssa.12315. hdl:10044/1/61527. S2CID 126301517.
  22. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 11.
  23. ^ "New Year Honours List 2013 - General List" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  24. ^ London, Main campus address: Imperial College; Campus, South Kensington; SW7 2AZ, London; maps, tel: +4420 7589 5111 Campus; in, information | About this site | This site uses cookies | Report incorrect content | Log. "Appointments to the Board of the UK Statistics Authority | Imperial News | Imperial College London". Imperial News. Retrieved 7 June 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)