Summer 2013
Nate Silver to present at NC State
Nate Silver
In celebration of the International Year of Statistics, the department is proud to announce that Nate Silver will be delivering a special lecture at NC State! Silver is a renowned statistician and writer who founded the New York Times political blog and authored the best-selling book, The Signal and the Noise. He recently gained national fame for correctly predicting the outcome of the Electoral College in the 2012 presidential election. His NC State presentation, titled "Celebrating Statistics: The Signal and the Noise," will take place in the new Hunt Library on October 10, followed by a reception. This invitation-only event is generously sponsored by the department's friends and supporters in the JMP Division at SAS. Click here to learn more about the event and contact Nikki Cofield at for information on obtaining tickets.
Statistics joins new College of Sciences
College of Sciences
Effective July 1, the Department of Statistics will officially be a part of the newly launched College of Sciences. The new college will integrate programs previously housed under the College of Physical and Applied Mathematical Sciences (PAMS) with several biological sciences programs from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). For more information about the new College of Sciences, please visit
Celebrating our 2013 graduates
Graduation 2013
On May 11, the department held its commencement ceremony at Ephesus Baptist Church. This year's ceremony saw 17 students earning their baccalaureates, 22 students earning their master's degrees, and eight students earning their doctorates. The commencement addresses were delivered by recent Ph.D. graduate Paul Bernhardt and our distinguished invited speaker, Russell Reeve of Quintiles. Head over to the department's Facebook page to see more pictures from the event. Congratulations to all of our graduates and best of luck with your bright futures!
Summer conference to honor Dr. Tsiatis
Anastasios Tsiatis
On July 12-13, the Department of Statistics will be sponsoring a symposium on current methods and future advances in analyzing observational and experimental data. In addition to the poster session and dinner reception, we will be honoring our own Dr. Anastasios "Butch" Tsiatis and his contributions to this important field of study. Click here for program information and details on registering for the conference.
NC State returns to JSM
JSM 2013
The department will once again be heading to the annual Joint Statistical Meetings, hosted this year in Montréal, Québec, from August 3-8. Information about the conference can be found here. Most importantly, the NC State Department of Statistics will host its annual JSM reception for alumni and friends of the department, so be sure to attend. The department reception (Session ID 209328) will be on Tuesday, August 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Saint-Jacques room at the Intercontinental Montreal. Click here for updated information on the reception and photo galleries from previous years. We look forward to seeing all of you there!
Dr. William Hunt retires
Bill Hunt
It is with a bittersweet heart that we announce the retirement of Dr. William "Bill" Hunt II. Dr. Hunt has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Statistics for the last 14 years, mentoring students as the Undergraduate Research Coordinator. Dr. Hunt has been a leader in environmental statistics for the past 45 years. Among his many contributions, he founded the statistical group in the EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards and helped assess the air pollution problems caused by the Kuwait oil fires as Deputy Team Leader for the Persian Gulf Risk Evaluation Team. We wish Bill a long and happy retirement!
Some new (and familiar) faces join the department
SAS Hall
We are pleased to announce several new people joining NC State!
First, Dr. Fred Wright from UNC-Chapel Hill will be the new director of the university's Bioinformatics Research Center (BRC). This program combines students and intellectual resources from statistics, biology, and computer science to work on various large-scale quantitative problems, particularly genomic data.  
Dr. Brian Eder, a senior scientist at the EPA, will be an adjunct faculty member and serve as Undergraduate Research Coordinator, formerly held by retiring professor Dr. Bill Hunt. As the URC, Dr. Eder will help pair undergraduates with faculty and external projects and recruit new students from AP Statistics programs in the Triangle. 
Dr. Alyson Wilson, currently at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute, will be an associate Professor of Statistics with tenure. Her appointment is through the data driven cluster hire. Dr. Wilson earned her PhD in Statistics from Duke University in 1995. 
Finally, two familiar faces will join our faculty in the fall: Dr. Justin Post and Dr. Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver. After earning his PhD last year from our department, Dr. Post spent a year as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Mount Union in Ohio. He returns to NC State as a Teaching Assistant Professor. Dr. Hughes-Oliver, who received her PhD in Statistics from NCSU in 1991, is returning to her home department after serving as a Professor of Statistics at George Mason University. We are thrilled to have both Justin and Jackie back!
Pop, Coke or Soda? Statistics Ph.D. student's dialect maps go viral
Soda pop or Coke?
Have you ever disagreed with a friend over what you call a carbonated beverage? Or argued over the proper way to address a group of two or more people? Did you ever wonder how American dialects relate to each over? Joshua Katz, a PhD. candidate in the Department of Statistics, did. For his final project in Dr. Brian Reich's applied spatial statistics class, Katz analyzed survey data from Dr. Bert Vaux to create maps showing regional dialect variations across the U.S. You can see his results here.

However, what started off as a simple class project blossomed into much more. After appearing in the college research blog, the Abstract, the maps were linked on Reddit and exploded over the internet. His work made it on to Business Insider, the News and Observer, and even the Today Show! His website was receiving millions of hits daily, which overloaded and crashed the servers. Currently, Katz is in talks with publishers to turn his work into a book!
Undergraduate students analyze love for 2013 DataFest
Datafest 2013
From March 22 to March 24, two teams of undergraduate students from the NCSU statistics department participated in the second annual DataFest, sponsored by SAMSI. Competing against ten other teams from UNC and Duke, these teams were tasked with analyzing and visualizing data on online dating from eHarmony. The data focused on matches made by the eHarmony matching algorithm, the personality characteristics of the matched people, and the successfulness of the match. Click here for more information on DataFest. Team "I Regress," comprised of NCSU students John Gauf, Rebecca Law, and Nathan Wall, earned an Honorable Mention award for "Best Advice for the Lovelorn." Congratulations to them and all of this year's participants!
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