Award to Roger Bivand
Professor Roger Bivand was awarded a Life Achievement Award for being an example and a great teacher for many years by an open science network linking researchers using spatial data.
In the late nineties a number of researchers needed software both for analysis and teaching. The R programming language was shared widely by its authors and provided a framework for broad collaboration. Although it was mostly used by statisticians initially, it spread rapidly to many scientific communities analyzing data, what we now call data science.
The collaboration accelarated in 2003 when the mailing list was created and particiants started to ask good questions. This led to better software and to making analysis tools available to more and more users.
Ewa Siarkiewicz-Bivand commenting on her husband's lack of life/work balance for the past decades to Edzer Pebesma (far left), Tom Hengl and Roger Bivand. Roger Bivand received the award at the Geostat summer school in late August 2018. Photo: Robert MacMillan
In his speech to Roger Bivand, Edzer Pebesma shared some of his reflections:
"The main thing I learned over the years from Roger is the value of maintaining a community. It starts with recognizing and encouraging the submission of good questions. Good questions take time, and are usually rewarded by good answers. Roger has continuously set very high standards for investigating questions and formulating answers.
I have often wondered for myself, and in general, why one would answer questions from people you've never met. What does it benefit beyond solving the questioners problem? But doing this on public fora like mailing list (and now often via github repository issues or stack overflow) documents the status quo and contributes to a shared understanding of problems and their solutions. Roger has set a standard by treating his own, known students and unknown mailing list members alike, and paying respect to anyone who is brave enough to publicly bring up a good question."