The Info-Metrics Institute at American University announced three inaugural recipients of
the Info-Metrics Institute Research Prize: Jens Hainmueller, Associate Professor of Political
Science at Stanford University; Justin Kinney, Assistant Professor of Quantitative Biology at
Cold Spring Harbor Institute; and Nataly Kravchenko-Balasha, Assistant Professor at the
School of Medicine at the Hebrew University.
"We are very excited to announce the first group of Info-Metrics Institute Research Prize
recipients," said Amos Golan, director of the Info-Metrics Institute and professor at American
University and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. "We congratulate the winners and
hope that these prizes will encourage them and others to continue their important research within
all areas of info-metrics."
"These awards will encourage the ongoing efforts of those applying information theory to
important problems, both old and new," added Michael Stutzer, an affiliate at the Info-Metrics
Institute and professor of finance at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who also chairs the
The prizes reward outstanding early career research.
The prizes are intended for scholars across
all disciplines who earned their doctorate degree within the decade prior to the nomination
deadline. They recognize scholars who have creatively used info-metrics methods in their
respective disciplines, with the potential for significant impact in those disciplines. The winners
will receive a certificate, monetary award and admission to the Institute as a research associate,
where they can benefit from the Institute's array of activities and research meetings. Prize
winners will be acknowledged at the first conferences held by the Institute following the
Kinney is being recognized for his study of equitability of mutual information as a measure of
statistical dependence, and for development of information theoretic statistical techniques for
analyzing genomic data.
"This recognition of my work is very much appreciated. I eagerly look forward to learning more
about the Info-Metrics institute and how I might participate in its activities," said Kinney.
Kravchenko-Balasha is being recognized for the use of maximum entropy-style approaches and
surprisal analysis specifically, in the identification of core patterns of activity in genetic networks
and prediction of spatial distribution of cells in cultures.
"Thank you so much for this exciting news –it is a big honor," said Kravchenko-Balasha, who
just accepted a position at the Hebrew University, following a Postdoc position at Caltech. "I am
very happy to accept my invitation to become an Info-Metrics Research associate."
Hainmueller is being recognized for developing an entropic approach to correcting for
confounding variates in the ubiquitous binary treatment studies, and providing evidence that this
can perform better than commonly used propensity scoring methods.
"This is very encouraging," said Hainmueller.
The Info-Metrics Institute Research Prize was established in memory of Professor Halbert L.
White, Jr., one of the Institute's founding members, who passed away on March 31, 2012.