Lagle Sammelsaar wins the young statistician’s grant
Eestlased Eestis 21 Jun 2016  EWR
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21 June 2016 – news release no 75
Today, on 21 June, the Director General of Statistics Estonia Mr Andres Oopkaup presented Ms Lagle Sammelsaar with the Albert Pullerits young statistician’s grant.

The aim of Sammelsaar’s Master’s thesis “Estimating the ‘Probability of Default’ on a dataset from a lending platform Bondora”, completed at the University of Tartu, is to predict the probability of default of the loan company’s clients for determining the client’s risk level.

According to Kaja Sõstra, who is the Head of Methodology and Analysis Department at Statistics Estonia and was the chair of the grant committee, it was rather difficult to pick this year’s winner due to the high quality of the student papers submitted for the competition, but the committee unanimously deemed Sammelsaar’s thesis worthy of winning. “What was particularly appreciated in the winning paper was the implementation of statistical methods, as the best prediction model was sought using both classical and novel statistical methods,” Sõstra explained.

Lagle Sammelsaar’s thesis is available on Statistics Estonia’s website (stat.ee). The Master’s thesis was supervised by Raul Kangro, PhD.

The Albert Pullerits young statistician’s grant was first awarded by Statistics Estonia in 2011, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Estonian statistics. Students whose thesis develops or applies a statistical method are eligible to apply for the grant.

The Albert Pullerits young statistician’s grant is awarded annually. The aim of the grant is to promote statistics as a very important branch of science, to motivate young people interested in statistics to apply and develop statistical methods, and to strengthen Statistics Estonia’s cooperation with research institutions. This year, the winner was awarded an iPad.

Albert Pullerits was the first director of the Estonian State Central Bureau of Statistics (established in 1921) and the founder of the official statistics system in Estonia.
 
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