Congratulations 2007-2008 Award Winners!

April,  2008

The Department of Statistics extends congratulations to the faculty and student award winners for the 2007-2008 academic year. The awards program was held on Friday, April 18, 2008 in the MATH Library lounge. The Department of Statistics was pleased to have special guests in attendance including Associate Dean and Professor of Statistics George McCabe, who presented awards, and Emeritus Professors Louis J. Cote and David S. Moore. Below are the awards for which faculty and students were recognized during the awards program.

Undergraduate Student Awards

  • 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. In great demand as a statistical consultant in industry, he authored widely used textbooks in experimental design. Other major themes in Dr. Anderson's work included statistical genetics and research on highways.

    Winner:Arman Sabbaghi

    Arman is currently a Junior in the College of Science and is following the Honors curriculum in Mathematics, which will lead to baccalaureate degrees in both Mathematics and Statistics. He was the Valedictorian of his high school class, and he has accumulated many other significant honors, including Outstanding Student in the Department of Statistics; Dean's List in each semester; the Edward and Antoinette Shapiro Memorial Mathematics Scholarship; the Valedictorian Scholarship, the Indiana Resident Top Scholar Award, and the Academic Success Award, all from Purdue University; and the Helen Clark Wight Scholarship. He also has been nominated, by Purdue University, as a candidate for the Goldwater Scholarship. Arman has served the Statistics Department ably as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in several undergraduate courses in Probability and Statistics. Not a narrow scholar, Arman has many other interests, including Astronomy, Mythology, Ancient Greek and Roman History, chess and soccer.

  • Baxter Award


  • The Glen E. Baxter Memorial Fund was established in 1983 by family and friends of Professor Baxter shortly after the premature death of this gifted teacher-scholar.

    Annual proceeds from the fund are used to honor undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in mathematics. The recipients of the awards are selected by a committee of professors from the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics.

    Winner: Arman Sabbaghi
    Arman is currently a Junior in the College of Science and is following the Honors curriculum in Mathematics, which will lead to baccalaureate degrees in both Mathematics and Statistics. He was the Valedictorian of his high school class, and he has accumulated many other significant honors, including Outstanding Student in the Department of Statistics; Dean's List in each semester; the Edward and Antoinette Shapiro Memorial Mathematics Scholarship; the Valedictorian Scholarship, the Indiana Resident Top Scholar Award, and the Academic Success Award, all from Purdue University; and the Helen Clark Wight Scholarship. He also has been nominated, by Purdue University, as a candidate for the Goldwater Scholarship. Arman has served the Statistics Department ably as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in several undergraduate courses in Probability and Statistics. Not a narrow scholar, Arman has many other interests, including Astronomy, Mythology, Ancient Greek and Roman History, chess and soccer.


    Winner: William Joseph Young
    Although currently in only his third year of residence on the West Lafayette campus, William will receive the Honors Baccalaureate degree in Mathematics at the end of the present semester. The curriculum that he has been following, certainly a very strong one in Mathematics, is equally strong in the discipline of Logic, a subject that has been at the center of his scholarly attention since early in his secondary-school years. Prior to his arrival here, he had begun to study mathematics at a local college and had participated in a research program examining a problem in Graph Theory, while finishing his High School Senior year on a half-time basis. William was named Outstanding Sophomore in Mathematics, in 2007, and has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the scholarships named for Trent Anderson, Andrew A. Zoltners, T. G. Alford, Alton D. and Juanita S. Andrews, Edward and Antoinette Shapiro, Arthur Rosenthal, and the Eugene Schenkman Memorial Award.

    William also has an interest in the communication of scientific knowledge to others. He has served the Mathematics Department as an Undergraduate Assistant in several undergraduate courses including one Honors Course in which he excelled as a student. He has served as mentor to the Science 110 Freshmen and as an assistant in the work of Science Olympiad.

    2008 Baxter Award Winners

    Pictured left to right: William Joseph Young, Professor Robert Zink, Arman Sabbaghi

  • David S. Moore Undergraduate Scholarship Award

  • The David S. Moore Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to incoming students planning to major in statistics. Applicants for the scholarship must meet the requirements and complete the general College of Science merit scholarship application.

    The scholarship is named in honor the David S. Moore, Shanti S. Gupta Distinguished Professor Emeritus and internationally recognized figure in statistics education.

    Winners: Kyle Bemis and Angela Hancock

    For more information see Purdue Department of Statistics announces Moore scholarship winners.

  • College of Science Outstanding Science Students

  • When making the selections for this award, the College of Science considered outstanding academic achievement, a strong academic program, and evidence of co-curricular involvement, such as undergraduate research, community service, and leadership.

    Winners:

    • John Steenbergen, Senior in Statistics
    • Amanda Brown, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Joy Amanda Nyenhuis-Rouch, Junior in Statistics
    • James Humphrey, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Adriana Vars, Sophomore in Statistics
    • Irene Brian, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Kyle Bemis, Freshman in Statistics
    • Grant Goedde, Freshman in Actuarial Science

    Amanda BrownAmanda Brown and Professor Penney

  • Actuarial Science Scholarship Award

  • Based on recommendations from faculty, academic performance, and the number of actuarial exams passed, scholarships are awarded to top students in each class. The awards this year were made possible through the generous support of Swiss Re, CIGNA, AEGON, New Era Life, and alumni. The Actuarial Science program is grateful for their support.

    Winners:

    • Eric Krafcheck, AEGON Scholarship, Freshman in Actuarial Science
    • Kyle Allen, CIGNA Award, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Steven Balog, CIGNA Award, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Nora Zhao Ying Li, CIGNA Award, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Jason Clarkson, Merit Award, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Alex Morton, Merit Award, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Angela Hancock, New Era Life Scholarship, Freshman in Actuarial Science
    • Craig Allen, Swiss-Re Award, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Ian Jones, Swiss-Re Award, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Elizabeth Moss, Swiss-Re Award, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Weepoh Ee, William Chen Scholarship, Sophomore in Actuarial Science

    Eric Krafcheck

    Eric Krafcheck and Professor Penney

    Kyle AllenKyle Allen and Professor Penney
    Steven BalogSteven Balog and Professor Penney Alex MortonAlex Morton and Professor Penney
    Craig-AllenCraig Allen and Professor Penney Elizabeth MossElizabeth Moss and Professor Penney

  • CNA Exam Award

  • The CNA Exam Award is given to undergraduate students who passed one or more Society of Actuaries exams in May 2007 and November 2007.

    Winners:

    • Kyle Allen, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Molly Amstutz, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Jennifer Aschenbrenner, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Steven Balog, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Irene Brian, Sophomore in Actuarial Science (passed two exams)
    • Amanda Brown, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Margaret Brown, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • John Carroll, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Kyle Castronova, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Xueyao Chen, Junior in Actuarial Science (passed two exams)
    • Andrew Chung, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Weepoh Ee, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Zachary Fohl, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Rob Fulton, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Brittany Hanners, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Gita Himawan, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • David Hoover, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • James Humphrey, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Dhaval Jadhav, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Sennett Johnson, Sophomore
    • Ian Jones, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Jacqueline Keller, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Shannon Kiyonaga, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Miles Kopcke, Senior
    • Petrina Kusliawan, Junior in Actuarial Science (passed two exams)
    • Wan-Jung Lee, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Nora Zhao Ying Li, Senior in Actuarial Science (passed two exams)
    • Alex Morton, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Elizabeth Moss, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Sam Oglesby, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Katie Poon, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Katie Quinn, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Matthew Schoolman, Sophomore in Actuarial Science
    • Brian Schwartz, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • Matt Sell, Senior in Actuarial Science
    • Jane Steigerwald, Junior in Actuarial Science
    • James Steinhiser, Senior (passed two exams)
    • Kuan Yang, Junior in Actuarial Science (passed two exams)
    • Ki-Cho Yu, Senior

Graduate Student Awards

  • I.W. Burr Award



  • The late Irving W. Burr (in picture) served on the Purdue faculty from 1941 until his retirement in 1974. He was a leading expert in quality control and industrial statistics. He was well-known for his text "Engineering Statistics and Quality Control" (McGraw-Hill, 1953) and he was active as a consultant to business and industry. Professor Burr's scholarly work centered on statistical process control and distribution theory. 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 Professor 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) and excellence in teaching or consulting as a graduate student at Purdue.
    Winner: Dr. Shannon Knapp

    2008 winner of the I.W. Burr Award - Dr. Shannon Knapp

    Shannon Knapp was born in San Diego, California. She received a Bachelor's degree in Biology in 1996 from American University and a M.S. in Wildlife Science in 1999 from Virginia Tech. Shannon joined the Statistics program at Purdue University in August 2002 to begin work on her Master's degree. After completing the M.S. in 2004, she continued at Purdue for her PhD in Statistics and received it in 2007. Her areas of specialization include population estimates and other applications of Statistics to population ecology and genetics. Shannon is a member of the International Biometric Society, The Wildlife Society, The Society for Conservation Biology, The American Mammalogists Society, and The Virginia Herpetological Society. In her free time, Shannon enjoys gardening, her dogs, and watching Purdue and Virginia Tech football. Her major advisor was Professor Bruce Craig. 
    Pictured left to right: Dean McCabe, Dr. Shannon Knapp



    Winner: Dr. Zhenqiang (James) Lu
    2008 winner of the I.W. Burr Award - Zhenqiang (James) Lu

    Zhenqiang (James) Lu was born in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics in 1993 from Shandong University. He joined Purdue in the Fall of 2002 and received an M.S. in Mathematical Statistics in 2003 and his Ph.D. in Statistics in 2007. James areas of specialization include Data Visualization, Healthcare Engineering, and Massive data. James is a member of the American Statistical Association. He enjoys fishing. His major advisor was Professor William S. Cleveland.
    Pictured left to right: Dean McCabe, Dr. Zhenqiang (James) Lu

  • L.J. Cote M.S. Excellence in Statistics Award


  • The recipient of the L.J. Cote M.S. Excellence in Statistics Award will be completing an M.S. in Applied Statistics and possesses the following skills that are required of an applied statistician.
    • Technical skill, as evidenced by course performance, faculty evaluation, and performance on the final M.S. examination.
    • Skill in consulting and communication, as evidenced by excellence in supervised consulting or secondarily in teaching.

    The award is in honor of Professor Louis J. Cote who retired from the Department of Statistics in June of 1991. He was an outstanding compassionate mentor to generations of graduate students.
    Winner: Yanzhu Lin

    2008 winner of the Louis J. Cote Award - Yanzhu Lin

    Yanzhu Lin was born in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. She received a Bachelor's degree in mathematics and a Masters in applied mathematics from Beijing Normal University in 2001 and 2004, respectively. She received a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Utah University in 2006. She entered the Department of Statistics in the Fall of 2006 and will receive her Master's degree in Applied Statistics this May. Yanzhu is a member of the American Statistical Association and was a member of STATCOM group in 2006-2007. In her free time, Yanzhu enjoys watching movies, reading, and cooking. Professors Min and Dabao Zhang have served as Yanzhu's advisors.
    Pictured left to right: Dean McCabe, Yanzhu Lin, Professor Emeritus Louis J. Cote

  • Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Statistics Teaching Assistant

  • Teaching Assistants contribute substantially to the teaching mission of the Department of Statistics. Their classroom performance is important to the quality of service to students. Therefore, the Department of Statistics faculty annually recognizes a Statistics Teaching Assistant for teaching excellence in the classroom.



    Winner: Kelvin Ma

    2008 winner of the Outstanding Teaching by a Teaching Assistant Award - Kelvin Ma

    Kelvin Ma was born in Hong Kong. He received a B.A. in Mathematics and Statistics from University of Washington in 2005. He entered Purdue in the fall of 2005 and received his Master's in Statistics with specialization in Applied Statistics, May 2007. Kelvin's area of research is Bioinformatics. He enjoys running, hiking, video games, reading science fiction, and movies. Professor Olga Vitek has served as his advisor.

  • STATCOM Community Service Award

  • Statistics in the Community (STATCOM) at Purdue University is a community outreach program provided to the greater Lafayette area by graduate students in Purdue's Department of Statistics. The program offers the expertise of statistics graduate students in the areas of data collection, organization, and interpretation, free of charge to local governmental and non-profit community organizations. 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 clients include organizations such as:

    • Schools
    • Local government agencies
    • Libraries
    • Arts groups

    The group was founded in 2001 by graduate student, Nels Grevstad. STATCOM has received four grants from the Student Grant Program for Community Service, administered through Purdue's Office of Engagement. Most recently, STATCOM received a Strategic Initiatives Grant from the American Statistical Association to promote the development of student-led pro bono statistical consulting programs at other institutions. Currently there are over 50 graduate student members involved in the program at Purdue. Seven other universities (Cornell University, University of Washington, University of Michigan, Iowa State University, The Ohio State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Hasselt -- Campus Diepenbeek) have also started STATCOM programs, and several more programs are currently in development across the country.


    This award is given to directors of STATCOM during the past year.


    Co-Winners: Shraddha Mehta (Summer 2007) and Andrew Lewandowski (2007 - 2008).
    2008 STATCOM Award

    Shraddha Mehta, STATCOM Director during the summer of 2007 received a B.S. in Math and Economics in 2004 from St. Olaf College. She entered the department in August 2004 and received her M.S. in May 2006 under the direction of Professor Bruce Craig. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Statistics and plans on receiving the degree in August 2009. Her current major advisors are Professors Bruce Craig and Jayanta Ghosh. Shraddha's area of research is an alternative to Cox Proportional Hazard for Survival data using Bayesian Analysis. Shraddha is a member of the American Statistical Association.
    Pictured left to right: Dean McCabe,
    Shraddha Mehta

    2008 STATCOM Award

    Andrew Lewandowski, STATCOM Director during for the 2007-2008 academic year was born in Stamford, CT. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from the Georgia State University in 2002. Andrew entered Purdue in the Fall of 2004. He expects to receive his Ph.D. in Statistics in 2009. His areas of research include Bayesian Computation and Monte Carlo Methods. Professors Chuanhai Liu is Andrew's advisor.
    Pictured left to right: Dean McCabe,
    Andrew Lewandowski

  • Department of Statistics Honoree at the Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching

    The Purdue University Committee on the Education of Teaching Assistants (CETA), the Purdue Graduate School, and the Purdue Office of the Provost honor outstanding graduate teaching assistants at the annual Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching banquet.

    Honoree: Tilman Achberger

    Outstanding Graduate Teaching Honoree - Tilman Achberger

    Tilman was born in Northfield, Minnesota the son of two German Professors. Unfortunately Tilman didn't put any of his foreign language knowledge to use at college, since he received his B.A. from St. Olaf College in May 2004 with a double major in Math and Physics with a concentration in Statistics. He then entered the Statistics department at Purdue in Aug 2004, where he received his M.S. in Applied Statistics in May 2006. Tilman is currently working on his PhD research in bioinformatics under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Doerge. He enjoys watching sports, running, cycling and cooking.

Faculty Awards

  • David S. Moore Service Teaching Award


  • The David S. Moore Service Teaching Award recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions to the quality of the Department of Statistics service courses. (Service courses for this are defined as those courses whose majority audience is not statistics or actuarial science students.) The award is given no more often than every two years. (No one can receive it more than once.) The recipient receives a financial award in an account available for travel and equipment expenditures. Eligible faculty include continuing lecturers and tenured and tenure-track faculty.


    Winner: James W. Dobbin

    2008 David S. Moore Service Teaching Award -- James W. Dobbin

    James W. Dobbin received his Bachelor Degree in Metallurgical Engineering from The University of Illinois in 1953 and a Masters Degree in Industrial Management from Clarkson University in 1970. Jim was a Teaching Assistant at Purdue in 1995. He became an Instructor for the Department of Statistics in 1998. Jim is presently a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Statistics for STAT 301T.
    Pictured: James W. Dobbin and David S. Moore

  • Top Ten Outstanding Teachers in the College of Science

  • Each year, science undergraduate students, polled by the Science Student Council, select ten outstanding teachers in the College of Science. Congratulations to two members of the Department of Statistics faculty who were selected.


    Winner: Jeffrey Beckley

    2008 Top Ten Outstanding Teacher

    This is the third consecutive year Jeffrey Beckley has won been recognized as an Outstanding Teacher in the College of Science. Jeffrey Beckley joined the Department of Statistics as "Professional Actuary in Residence," with a Continuing Lecturer title in the fall of 2005. He has a joint appointment with the Department of Mathematics. Jeffrey has spent over 25 years working as a practicing actuary and continues to work as a consulting actuary in the life and health insurance field. He is the instructor for STAT 170, Introduction to Actuarial Science, and MA 490A, Mathematical Theory of Interest. Jeff's students are always impressed by his dedication to their success citing his patience and willingness to help outside of the classroom. Further evidence of his commitment to his students is shown when he calls on all of his students by name. Given the small size of the Actuarial Science program within the College of Science, the support that Jeff receives from students makes a strong statement about his teaching abilities.



    Winner: Mark Daniel Ward

    2008 Top Ten Outstanding Teacher

    In his first year of teaching at Purdue University as a faculty member, Professor Mark Daniel Ward continues to add to his list of teaching awards. Professor Ward has earned a teaching award each semester since earning his Ph.D., as well as a graduate student teaching award in 2004. Prior to joining the Department of Statistics in fall 2007 he was a Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania and a TA at Purdue during his graduate student career. His ability to relate to his students makes an immediate impression on them. During fall 2007, he taught two sections of STAT 416, Introduction to Probability, and subsequently, eight students requested a STAT 490 reading course during spring 2008 on Game Theory. He is also currently teaching STAT 516, Basic Probability and Applications.

  • STATCOM Appreciation Award

  • 2008 STATCOM Appreciation Award Winner - Regina Becker

    Statistics in the Community (STATCOM) at Purdue University is a volunteer student-run community outreach organization that provides free statistical consulting services to local governmental and nonprofit groups. This year, STATCOM at Purdue presented a STATCOM Appreciation Award to Regina Becker, their staff advisor. Regina was instrumental in the foundation of STATCOM during the 2001-2002 school year by working with a statistics Ph.D. student Nels Grevstad to start the organization.
    Pictured left to right: Dean McCabe,
    Regina Becker


    The idea of STATCOM started when Nels and Regina attended a talk by former Purdue President Martin Jischke, at which he described his goal of improving Purdue's engagement within the community. In Nels' own words he describes Regina's crucial role in the foundation and subsequent success of STATCOM:



    "I remember you coming up with the idea of creating a service in which graduate students would provide statistical consulting to community organizations. You unselfishly gave much of the credit for the creation and development of STATCOM to others, including myself. I hope that this award will be a testament to the fact that STATCOM may never have been created, and most certainly would not be as successful as it is, without your valuable input and support."

    Since her pivotal role in its foundation, Regina has continually helped STATCOM grow and succeed. She volunteers her time as the staff advisor for the group and has offered guidance and support as the program has developed. Her connections within the community have been essential to finding projects from the beginning and her consulting experience has proven invaluable in the advice she gives throughout projects. STATCOM at Purdue has assisted over 40 clients since its foundation in 2001 and has recently expanded to a STATCOM Network of 7 other Universities who have started their own programs. This success would not have been possible without Regina Becker and as a small token of their appreciation for all of her dedication; STATCOM presented her with this well-deserved award.

    The STATCOM leaders also presented Regina Becker with a "STATCOM Guardian Angel" trophy for all of her guidance and support of STATCOM since its foundation.



    Regina Becker, Gayla Olbricht, Shraddha Mehta, Alex Lipka, and Dean McCabe
    Pictured left to right: Regina Becker, Gayla Olbricht,
    Shraddha Mehta, Alex Lipka, and Dean McCabe

To see past award winners, click here.