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COLLEGE STATION --

Dr. Samuel Kou, professor of statistics and director of graduate studies in the Department of Statistics at Harvard University, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Raymond J. Carroll Young Investigator Award at Texas A&M University.

Kou will be presented with his award Saturday (Mar. 14) as part of Statistical Methods for Complex Data, a day-long conference to celebrate the 60th birthday of the award's namesake, Dr. Raymond J. Carroll, a distinguished professor of statistics, nutrition and toxicology at Texas A&M and an international leader in many areas of statistical research and education.

The conference, sponsored by the Texas A&M Department of Statistics, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Statistical Science and the Stata Corporation, will be held in Room 114 Wehner Building on the Texas A&M campus.

"The Raymond J. Carroll Young Investigator Award is being established to honor Dr. Raymond J. Carroll, distinguished professor of statistics, nutrition and toxicology, for his fundamental contributions in many areas of statistical methodology and practice, such as measurement error models, nonparametric and semiparametric regression, nutritional and genetic epidemiology," said Dr. Simon J. Sheather, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Statistics. "Dr. Carroll has also been instrumental in mentoring and helping young researchers, including his own students and post-doctoral trainees, as well as others in the statistical community."

Kou is cited for his significant contributions to the area of statistical methodology and its applications. His methodological research focuses on nonparametric methods and model selection. In terms of applications, he has published papers on stochastic influence in single molecule biophysics. Kou says he is thrilled to be selected as the inaugural recipient and considers it an honor to be affiliated with the award's namesake.

"Professor Carroll has made so many groundbreaking contributions in statistics, always at the research frontier, leading one wave after another," Kou said. "Having the opportunity to associate my name with Professor Carroll, a giant, and with the great Texas A&M University statistics department is a tremendous honor."

Kou received a bachelor's degree in computational mathematics from Peking University in 1997 and both his master's degree (2000) and doctorate (2001) in statistics from Stanford University, where he also served as a teaching assistant and instructor. He joined the Harvard faculty in 2001 as an assistant professor of statistics, earning promotion to full professor in 2008. He says he became enthralled with statistics after taking an undergraduate course on probability that made him realize he wanted to use mathematics to solve real-world problems. Since then, he says he has been fascinated with doing research and living the life of a researcher.

In addition to winning a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2005 and being elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2007, Kou was chosen as a Medallion Lecturer of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics this year. He also has helped organize several conferences and symposiums on statistics.

Carroll, who had no input as to who the first recipient of the award would be, is honored to be its namesake and extremely pleased that Kou was chosen.

"I hope it will turn into a big award in the profession," he added. "Samuel Kou is a genius -- one of the nicest and most unique guys. I'm really pleased he won."

The founding director of the Texas A&M Center for Statistical Bioinformatics, Carroll has been a member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1987 and is one of the world's leading experts on problems of measurement error, statistical regression modeling and, more recently, statistical methods in genomics. He is perhaps most recognized for his founding of the area of nonlinear measurement error modeling, with applications to nutritional and radiation epidemiology.

As a key figure in the Texas A&M Department of Statistics, Carroll continues to generate important and instrumental ideas in new areas of study in statistics -- a constantly expanding area with an importance to society that should not be overlooked, according to Carroll.

"It is a booming field," he said. "You can't do anything without the quantification of uncertainty. The assessment of risks in all areas is all about the quantification of uncertainty. That is the heart of statistics."

For more information about the conference or the Raymond J. Carroll Young Investigator Award, visit http://www.stat.tamu.edu/carroll-conference-2009/ or contact Joyce M. Sutherland, conference coordinator, at (979) 845-5528 or joyce@stat.tamu.edu/.

-aTm-

Contact: Chris Jarvis, (979) 845-7246 or cjarvis@science.tamu.edu

Jarvis Chris

  • Dr. Samuel Kou

  • Dr. Raymond J. Carroll

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