Congratulations Statistics Spring 2005 Student Award Winners!

April,  2005

2005 Student Spring Award Winners
2005 Statistics Student Award Winners Back row: Martina Muehlbach, Ionut Florescu, Alexander Lipka and Mohd Hafiz Ab Hamid Front row: Hongmei Jiang and Nilupa Gunaratna

The Department of Statistics extends congratulations to the Statistics Spring 2005 Student Award winners. The awards were presented on Friday, April 22, 2005 by Dean Jeffrey Vitter in a reception held in the MATH Library Lounge. The winners for this year's awards were:

V.L. Anderson Scholarship Award This scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student who shows promise of contributing to statistics and its applications. The scholarship is in honor of Dr. Virgil Anderson who retired from the Department of Statistics in December 1986 after nearly 36 years. Professor Anderson was a leader in applied statistics on the Purdue campus and was the Director of the Statistics Laboratory, which was the forerunner of the Statistical Consulting Service. He was in great demand as a statistical consultant in industry and was the author of widely used textbooks in experimental design. Other major themes in Dr. Anderson's work included statistical genetics and research on highways.

Mohd Hafiz Ab Hamid

Mohd Hafiz Ab Hamid was born in Kelantan, Malaysia (East side of Malaysia). He entered Purdue, August 2002 where he is majoring in Actuarial Science. Hafiz's hobbies are playing tennis, table tennis, listening to music, and surfing the internet. Since 2001 Hafiz has been a member of the Malaysian Mensa, SOA. He expects to graduate in May 2006.







I.W. Burr Award Irving W. Burr served on the Purdue faculty from 1941 until his retirement in 1974. He was a leading expert in quality control and industrial statistics. His text Engineering Statistics and Quality Control (McGraw-Hill, 1953) was well-known, and he was active as a consultant to business and industry. Professor Burr's scholarly work centered on statistical process control and distribution theory, where the Burr distributions are named for him. He was elected a fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Professor Burr was one of the faculty whose work and reputation helped transform Purdue from a regional college to a national research university.

This award was established in 1974 upon the retirement of the late Professor Irving W. Burr, an eminent statistician who taught at Purdue for nearly 35 years. The criteria for this award are: (a) Promise of contribution to the profession as evidenced by academic excellence in courses and exams, and by the quality of the thesis research. (b) Excellence in teaching or consulting while they are at Purdue.


Ionut Florescu

Ionut Florescu was born in Bucharest Romania. Ionut received his B.S., July 1996 and his M.S. in Mathematics with specialization in Stochastic Processes in Mathematics from the University of Bucharest. He entered Purdue in the Fall of 1998 where he received his M.S. in Computational Finance in December of 2003. In December 2004 he received his Ph.D. in Statistics. Ionut is a member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association. He enjoys playing the guitar, reading, playing soccer, tennis and softball. His major professor was Professor Frederi Viens.





Hongmei Jiang

Hongmei Jiang was born in Shandong, China. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Shandong University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. Hongmei entered Purdue University in the Fall of 1999. She received her M.S. in Applied Statistics in 2001 and her Ph.D. in December 2004. Her areas of specialization are in multiple comparisons, statistical genetics/genomics and bioinformatics. Hongmei is a member of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. She enjoys watching movies, reading and playing with children. Her major professor was Dr. Rebecca W. Doerge.




L.J. Cote M.S. Excellence in Statistics Award This award is in honor of Professor Louis J. Cote who retired from the Department of Statistics in June of 1991 and was a compassionate mentor to graduate students.

Alexander Lipka

Alexander Lipka was born in Abbington, Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in Music and a B.S. in Statistics in 2002 from the University of Florida. Alex entered Purdue University in the Fall of 2002, where he received his M.S. in Applied Statistics, December 2004. He expects to receive his PH.D. in Statistics in May 2006 or May 2007. His areas of specialization are in Categorical Data Analysis and Nonparametrics. Alex is active with the STATCOM group through the Consulting Service in the Department of Statistics. Professor Katy Simonsen is his major professor.




STATCOM Community Service Award STATCOM is a community outreach program provided to the greater Lafayette area by graduate students in the Department of Statistics at Purdue University. The program offers free of charge to non-profit community organizations the expertise of statistics graduate students in the areas of data collection, organization, and interpretation.

STATCOM was born out of a desire to enhance the existing partnership between Purdue University and the community at large, thereby impacting the quality of life in the area in a positive way.

Potential recipients of the service include organizations such as:

  • Schools
  • Some government agencies
  • Health Centers

The group was founded in 2002 by Nels Grevstad. STATCOM has received two $1500 grants from the Student Grant Program for Community Service, administered through Purdue's Office of Engagement. Currently there are 35 graduate student consultants involved in the program.

Nilupa Gunaratna

Nilupa Gunaratna was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She received her B.A. from Cornell University in 1999. She entered Purdue University in the Summer of 1999 in Agronomy where she received her M.S. in Plant Genetics and Breeding in December 2002. She entered the Department of Statistics in August 2001 and received her M.S. in Applied Statistics in May 2003 and plans to receive her Ph.D. in 2007. Her areas of research are in service learning and statistical applications in nutrition and international development. Nilupa belongs to the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Gamma Sigma Delta. She enjoys photography, travel, journalistic writing, and dancing. Her major professor is Dr. George McCabe.



Outstanding Statistics TA Teacher Award Teaching Assistants contribute substantially to the teaching mission of the Department of Statistics, and their classroom performance is important to the quality of our service to students. The faculty of the Department has therefore established an annual award to recognize service to the Department and to students through outstanding classroom teaching of Statistics by a Teaching Assistant.

The award is presented once a year. It may be awarded to any Statistics Department Teaching Assistant who has held classroom teaching responsibilities in a Statistics course during at least one of the two semesters that include and precede the semester in which the award is made. The award is intended to recognize excellent performance in a specific classroom teaching assignment during this two-semester period. An individual may receive the award twice, but not more often.

Martina Muehlbach

Martina Muehlbach was born in Hannover, Germany. She received her B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Hannover in 1996. She entered the Math Department at Purdue University in August 1997 and received a M.S. in Applied Mathematics in May 1999. She left Purdue and returned to the University of Hannover in 2001 where she received her Teaching Certificate in Mathematics and Physics in 2002. She re-entered Purdue University in the Ph.D. program, Summer 2002 in the Department of Statistics. Martina's research area is in Bioinformatics. She belongs to the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences. She anticipates receiving her Ph.D. degree in August 2006 or May 2007. Martina enjoys cooking and gardening. Her major professor is Dr. Rebecca W. Doerge.


To see past Spring Student Award winners, click here.