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COLLEGE STATION --

Dr. Raymond J. Carroll, distinguished professor of statistics, has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the Jill and Stuart A. Harlin '83 Chair in Statistics at Texas A&M University.

Carroll, who also is a member of the faculties of nutrition and toxicology, is one of the world's leading experts in a host of statistical areas, primarily problems of measurement error, statistical regression modeling and statistical methods in genomics. He is internationally renowned as the founder of nonlinear measurement error modeling -- the quantification of uncertainty in statistical regression when predictors cannot be accurately ascertained. His methods in this area are widely used in nutritional and radiation epidemiology, and the related book he co-authored in 2005 is considered the definitive treatment of the field.

The Harlin Chair, which marks only the second created within the department, was established last fall through a unique combination of current and planned gifts to the Texas A&M Foundation by the Florida physician and his wife. Harlin, a 1983 Texas A&M zoology graduate, is a board-certified vascular surgeon in the Pensacola area and United States Air Force veteran who also earned his medical degree (University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center, 1987) in the Lone Star State prior to obtaining his Florida medical license in 1999. In addition to being one of eight specialists within Coastal Vascular and Interventional, PLLC, he is founder of Harlin Consulting, a medical advising practice primarily specializing in staff training, clinical studies work and research assistance.

"It is indeed an honor for both the department and Distinguished Professor Carroll to be recognized with such a generous gift made through the College of Science," said Dr. Simon J. Sheather, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Statistics. "The fact that our department now has two endowed professorships is testament to our high standing among other statistics departments across the country."

Carroll, who is director of the Texas A&M Institute for Applied Mathematics and Computational Statistics (IAMCS) and founding director of the Center for Statistical Bioinformatics, earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Purdue University and spent 13 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prior to joining the Texas A&M Statistics faculty in 1987. As the inaugural holder of the Harlin Chair, he will be honored with a by-invitation-only reception set for Monday, March 3, at the Texas A&M University Club.

"It is a great honor to be named to the Harlin Chair, an appointment that serves as a tangible acknowledgment of my research contributions and standing in the field, the effort I have made to raise the national and international visibility of the department, and the mentoring I have done of junior faculty, postdocs and graduate students here at Texas A&M, and elsewhere," said Carroll, who plans to use the income from the endowment to help fund his overall research program.

"I had dinner with Jill and Stuart Harlin before the Texas A&M-Alabama football game and was impressed with Stuart's interest in regression modeling, clinical trials and his data-based philosophy of improving vascular care. His interest in the use of statistics led him to endow the chair, and I hope to be a worthy first holder of the chair, which will benefit the department in the long term."

Carroll has won many major research awards in the field of statistics, most notably the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies' (COPSS) Presidents' Award (1988) and Fisher Award and Lecture (2002) -- the latter of which recognizes "scholarship in statistical science and for highly significant impact of statistical methods on scientific investigations." In addition, he was the first statistician to receive a Method to Extend Research In Time (MERIT) Award from the National Cancer Institute (2005). Most recently, he was inducted in February along with six other Texas A&M faculty as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and has been selected to receive the American Statistical Association's 2014 Gottfried E. Noether Senior Scholar Award for Nonparametric Statistics.

In addition to being editor of two major statistics journals, Carroll has published more papers in the Journal of the American Statistical Association than anyone else, with an h-index of 55, according to the ISI Web of Knowledge. He has had continuous federal research funding as a principal investigator since 1975 and has written 386 refereed papers either published or in press as well as four books.

"One important reason that our statistics department is so highly ranked internationally is because we are fortunate to have Ray Carroll on our faculty," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science and a professor of statistics. "Adding this endowed chair to his long list of honors pays great testament to his extraordinary accomplishments, both in developing new methodology and in working with many scientists and medical professionals in applying his new methods. It is fitting that Ray would be the inaugural holder of the chair endowed by a physician of such high esteem as Dr. Harlin."

Carroll's research applications span the gamut of multidisciplinary. In addition to nonlinear measurement error modeling, he co-founded the area of variance function modeling -- the modeling of variability as a function of predictors, work that has found application in econometrics, immunoassay analysis, quality control, marine sciences, sociology and public health. He has made fundamental contributions to the study of gene-environment interactions on disease, including developing the most efficient methods available in the field. He co-wrote along with Margaret Wu the first methodological paper on what is now known as informative censoring -- his most-cited paper in a statistics journal.

Carroll also has influenced the analysis of clinical trials in the pharmaceutical world. In a series of papers with Craig Mallinckrodt of Eli Lilly and Geert Mohlenberghs, he showed that the common means of dealing with dropout was flawed, and now modern methods are being used to handle dropouts at Eli Lilly and elsewhere.

A two-time Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Research winner (2004, 1994), Carroll's additional honors include the National Institute of Statistical Sciences' Jerome Sacks Award for Multidisciplinary Research (2003), the International Society for Bayesian Analysis' Mitchell Prize (2003) and the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (1996). In 2012, he received an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium for his fundamental contributions and international leadership in many areas of statistical research, education and practice throughout his accomplished career.

To learn more about Carroll and his career expertise and accomplishments, visit http://www.stat.tamu.edu/~carroll/.

For more information on giving opportunities to benefit faculty and academic programs, go to http://giving.tamu.edu.

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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents annual expenditures of more than $820 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Raymond J. Carroll, (979) 845-3170 or carroll@stat.tamu.edu

Hutchins

  • Dr. Raymond J. Carroll

    Texas A&M statistician Dr. Raymond J. Carroll and his legion of protégés have made many fundamental contributions to multiple areas of statistical expertise, including measurement error modeling -- providing reliable analyses in situations where variables and exposures are measured with error. As the inaugural holder of the Jill and Stuart A. Harlin '83 Chair in Statistics, Carroll hopes to apply his vast, pioneering expertise in this and many avenues of statistical research to help improve vascular care, Dr. Harlin's medical specialty.

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