Iain Murray Johnstone
Iain M. Johnstone
Alma materAustralian National University, Cornell University
AwardsGuy Medal (Silver, 2010) (Bronze, 1995)
COPSS Presidents' Award (1995)
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University
Doctoral advisorLawrence D. Brown
Doctoral studentsNaomi Altman

Iain Murray Johnstone (born 1956)[1] is an Australian born statistician who is the Marjorie Mhoon Fair Professor in Quantitative Science in the Department of Statistics at Stanford University.


Johnstone was born in Melbourne in 1956. In 1977 he graduated in mathematics at the Australian National University, specializing in pure mathematics and statistics.[2][3] Later he obtained an M.S. and a Ph.D. in statistics from Cornell University in 1981 under Lawrence D. Brown with the dissertation titled, Admissible Estimation of Poisson Means, Birth–Death Processes and Discrete Dirichlet Problems.[4]


In the 1990s, he was known for applications of wavelet methods for noise reduction in signal and image processing, and turned them in statistical decision theory. In the 2000s he turned to the theory of random matrices in multidimensional problems of statistics. In Biostatistics he cooperated with medical professionals in the application of statistical methods, particularly in cardiology and in prostate cancer.

Academic career

He joined the Department of Statistics, Stanford University after completion of his Ph.D. in 1981. He is the Marjorie Mhoon Fair Professor in Quantitative Science in the Department of Statistics at Stanford University.[5]


He was a Guggenheim Fellow[6] and Sloan Fellow.[5] He was president of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He received the Guy Medal in Bronze 1995 and again in Silver 2010 from the Royal Statistical Society and the 1995 COPSS Presidents' Award.[7] In 1998 he was an Invited Speaker of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin.[8] He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.


  1. ^ "How to Convert Data into Information". International Congress of Mathematicians. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  2. ^ "Committee On Applied and Theoretical Statistics". BMSA.
  3. ^ An Assessment of NASA's National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service. National Academies Press. 24 Dec 2009. p. 78. ISBN 9780309149280.
  4. ^ "Mathematics Genealogy Project".
  5. ^ a b "Wei Lun Public Lecture Series". Wishart, Wigner and Weather: Eigenvalues in Statistics and Beyond. Chinese University of Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Iain M. Johnstone". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  7. ^ "COPSS Awards Recipients". Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
  8. ^ Johnstone, Iain M. (1998). "Oracle inequalities and nonparametric function estimation". Doc. Math. (Bielefeld) Extra Vol. ICM Berlin, 1998, vol. III. pp. 267–278.