Leonard Smith

Professor of Statistics, London School of Economics

Visiting Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Chicago



Areas of Expertise:

  • Theory of nonlinear dynamical systems: Indistinguishable states, model estimation and system analysis
  • Construction and evaluation of ensemble forecasting systems of actual systems
  • Forecast interpretation for decision support in energy, insurance and other sectors on weather, seasonal and climate timescales

Smith serves as the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS) at the London School of Economics. Smith received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and PhD in Physics from Columbia University.

He has held visiting or fixed term research positions at Cambridge (UK), École Normale Superior (France), Warwick (UK) and Potsdam University (Germany). Since 1992 he has been a Senior Research Fellow (mathematics) at Pembroke College and Research Associate, Mathematics Institute, University of Oxford, (UK), and also became a Professor of Statistics (Research) at the London School of Economics (LSE) in October 2004.

Smith has held grants funded by many bodies including ONR (US Office of Naval Research) and NOAA (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) as well as from Australia, the European Commission and the UK Research Councils. Smith was active in the formation of strategy for THORPEX (he was co-author of the Socio-Economic Impacts Chapter) and the original experimental design(s) of climateprediction.net.

His interest in the public understanding of science led to a Selby Fellowship from the Australian Academy of Sciences. In recognition of his contributions to mathematically-coherent, user-relevant developments in meteorology, the Royal Meteorological Society awarded Professor Smith its Fitzroy Prize in 2003.

Research Projects

Model Evaluation and Fidelity | Shadowing

Former Students and Postdoctoral Scholars 

Hailiang Du | Ana Lopez