GSO Spring Speaker 2005


Report on the Visit of Professor Raymond J. Carroll in January 2005

Raymond Carroll
Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Nutrition, Toxicology, and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Texas A&M University

Start Date and Time: Fri, 10 Jun 2005, 10:00 AM

End Date and Time: Fri, 10 Jun 2005, 12:00 PM


Each spring semester, the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) hosts a renowned statistician to visit the Purdue campus and give a talk to the graduate students. The graduate students pick the speaker by first coming up with a list of statisticians that we would like to meet. Then the students vote on the candidate to which we will extend an invitation. This year we were honored to have Professor Raymond Carroll accept our invitation.

Professor Carroll received his Ph.D. in statistics from Purdue University in 1974. His advisor was Shanti S. Gupta, the founder and former department head of the Purdue University Department of Statistics. Professor Carroll is a Distinguished Professor of Statistics, Nutrition, Toxicology, and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Texas A&M University. He is also Director of the Bioinformatics Training Program and Core Director of the Center for Environmental and Rural Health at that university.

Professor Carroll arrived at Purdue on January 26th. He started his visit by having dinner with 21 graduate students at The Great Wall Chinese restaurant. During dinner, Professor Carroll shared his experiences of conducting statistical research in different applied areas, such as nutrition, toxicology etc. That evening, Professor Rebecca Doerge hosted a dessert party in honor of Professor Carroll at her home. Many students and faculty members joined the party. GSO officer, Elsie Grace, presented Professor Carroll with a Boilermaker coffee mug; Professor Carroll, in turn, regaled us with stories of his time at Purdue.

On January 27th, several students and faculty members met individually with Professor Carroll to discuss their research. In the afternoon, the students enjoyed a round table pizza lunch with our speaker. Professor Carroll discussed the job application process in academia, and skills required to be successful in both academia and industry. With his experience as editor or co-editor for JASA, Biometrics, Annals of Statistics and many other well-known statistical journals, he was able to explain the general reviewing process for publication in top statistical journals.

Ray Carroll

Professor Carroll gave a talk entitled "Measuring Dietary Intake: Is It Possible?" during the Statistics Research Colloquium (joint with the Graduate Student Organization) in the afternoon. By introducing one of his studies involving the relationship between breast cancer and dietary intake, Professor Carroll showed us the discrepancy between two popular dietary intake measurement methods: 1-week Diary and Frequent Food Questionnaire. He posed the question of how to find more reliable ways to measure nutrition intake. This is a great challenge to statisticians and nutritionists alike.

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