I feel honoured and pleased to give this laudatio on the occasion of The John Cedric Griffiths Award granted to Professor Ana Fernández Militino for her outstanding teaching in the area of Geostatistics.
For decades, Ana has tirelessly dedicated herself to teaching and conducting research on various areas of Statistics at the Universidad Pública de Navarra in Spain, and other universities, conferences and workshops. Her first book, in collaboration with Lola Ugarte, on Probability and Statistics in Spanish was born from this intensive work. Its examples were written in SPlus, the predecessor of the R language. For all of us, people who have Spanish as native language, this book became an invaluable tool for our everyday teaching.  The new book, this time in English and R, outweighed the first because of the many and interesting exercises and other subjects added.
But Ana´s teaching work goes far beyond her books and teaching at universities, conferences, and workshops. As a person of profound convictions, she has mentored many young people into research and scholarship. Through her teaching skills, she has inspired, and continues to inspire, generations of students.
It is a challenge to describe the extensive works of Ana because they encompass a large area of Statistics, but without doubt I should highlight her developments in Geostatistics, and other kind of spatial and spatio-temporal models. She started in this area by publishing the article "M-estimation of the Drift Coefficients in a Spatial Linear Model", in an issue of Mathematical Geology of 1997.
She has also translated her research into practice in the context of her work as a consultant. The projects "Small Area Estimation of Crops Acreage Using Spatial Linear Models and Satellite Data", supported by the Science and Technology Ministry of Spain (2001-2003), and "Spanish Multicenter study of the short-term effects of air pollution on health", granted by Carlos III Institute of Health, and "Small Area Estimators" by EUSTAT (Statistical Office of the Basque Country), which she ended last year, are some examples of her consulting work that most of the times resulted in substantial scientific articles.
I met her fifteen years ago at her place, Pamplona. At that time, she was supervising her first doctoral student, Lola, who was then and until now her inseparable partner. Since then I have witnessed Ana´s remarkable scientific and teaching work from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, meeting her from time to time.
Finally I would like to praise Ana for her physical stamina and fine sensitivity. The first enabled her to swim and play golf at the end of a long day of work at the university. The second encouraged her to make playing double bass an important part of her life.
Thank you, Ana, for what you have given to those around you, or in some far away place, for your insights and inspiration.
 
Angela Diblasi  

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