The BEST Award for Student Research

Department of Statistical Science
Duke University
BEST Foundation
New Jersey

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The establishment of the BEST Award was announced by José M Quintana, PhD, BEST Foundation Trustee & Chairman of BEST LLC (pictured to the right), at a reception in the von der Heyden pavilion, Duke University, on Friday 20th April 2007.

Professor Alan Gelfand, Chair of the Department of Statistical Science (left) and Professor Mike West, Chair of the BEST Award & Selection Committees (right), with Dr. Quintana.

The reception and announcement was preceded by a research seminar presented by Dr. Quintana, titled and abstracted as follows:

The Bayesian Nature of the Financial Markets' Prices

Liquid free financial markets, according to most watchers, behave as efficient information processing devices that are difficult to beat. It can be argued that even if market participants were not acting formally as Bayesians; a Bayesian behavior, for the markets as a whole, would inevitably emerge. Only basic fear and greedy attitudes, related to coherence and consistency, need to be assumed for the participants. Furthermore, a natural evolutionary process applied to the participants would positively affect the quality of the markets' Bayesian behavior. This might explain the aforementioned observers' assessment.