Department of Statistical Science Presents 2017 Tom Bratcher Memorial Lecture

April 18, 2017
Donald RichardsDonald Richards, Ph.D., professor of statistics at Pennsylvania State University, will deliver the 2017 Tom Bratcher Memorial Lecture at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 20. (Courtesy photo)

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WACO, Texas (April 18, 2017) – Donald Richards, Ph.D., professor of statistics at Pennsylvania State University, will deliver the 2017 Tom Bratcher Memorial Lecture at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in Room 301 of Marrs McLean Science Building, 1214 S. Fourth St.

“Dr. Richards is an associate editor of several prominent statistics journals and is an elected fellow of both the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Mathematical Society,” said Amanda Hering, Ph.D., associate professor of statistical science in the College of Arts & Sciences. “He applies statistics in many fields, such as finance, astronomy and health care, and is a highly sought-after speaker at national and international conferences.”

Richards’ lecture will be titled “Random Walks, Gambler’s Ruin, and the Quest for Jack or Jill.”

“Professor Richards poses some interesting questions from a societal perspective related to gambling and child-bearing practices and uses probability to answer them,” Hering said. “Even though the scenarios are simplified, the implications for society and policy-makers are real.”

Richards’ research interests include multivariate statistical analysis, reliability theory, combinatorics, probability inequalities, representation theory and harmonic analysis,

special functions of matrix argument, astronomy and astrophysics, value investing,

financial derivatives and applications. His work has been published in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, Astrophysical Journal and the Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference.

“The goal of the lecture series is to bring to campus internationally and nationally recognized scholars in the field of statistics who are known for giving engaging talks and connecting with the audience,” Hering said.

The annual lecture was founded to honor Tom Bratcher, a Baylor professor who passed away unexpectedly in the fall of 2012. Bratcher was instrumental in founding the department of statistical science in 2004 and in establishing the Conference of Texas Statisticians, which has been running annually for almost 40 years.

“We want to create an opportunity for our undergraduate and graduate students and faculty to interact with a renowned statistician,” Hering said. “We hope that attendees will see the impact and importance of probability and statistics in everyday life.”

by Kalli Damschen, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


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