William S. Cleveland Receives Honorary Doctorate from Hasselt University - Department of Statistics - Purdue University Skip to main content

William S. Cleveland Receives Honorary Doctorate from Hasselt University


On October 22, 2021, William S. Cleveland, Shanti S. Gupta Distinguished Professor of Statistics, received and accepted an Honorary Doctorate from Hasselt University in Belgium. This honor is based on Cleveland’s work in data science and data visualization. In his 2001 paper "Data Science: An Action Plan for Expanding the Technical Areas of the Field of Statistics", he re-defined data science to its current meaning. 

According to the citation from Hasselt, Professor Cleveland’s work on the “cognitive processes that underlie how people understand graphs was among the earliest attempts to study visualization and the theories supporting it. [He was] one of the first who believed that the conventions used in visual representation should be backed up by data and theory. Many data visualization leaders - from Stephen Few and Nathan Yau to Hadley Wickham and Edward Tufte - explicitly refer to [Cleveland] as one of their most important influences.”

More information about Dr. Cleveland can be found on his website at https://www.stat.purdue.edu/~wsc/.

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