As a global expert in error measurement modeling and the inaugural holder of the Jill and Stuart A. Harlin '83 Chair in Statistics, Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Statistics Raymond J. Carroll knows firsthand the unquantifiable value of private support.

As director of the Texas A&M Institute for Applied Mathematics and Computational Statistics (IAMCS) and founding director of the Center for Statistical Bioinformatics, Carroll likewise has a keen appreciation of the importance of graduate stipends in recruiting and retaining top-quality graduate students -- the lifeblood of future breakthroughs in both academic and industrial sectors.

Earlier this month, Carroll did right by both causes, teaming up with his wife and fellow Texas A&M distinguished professor Marcia G. Ory to establish the Raymond J. Carroll and Marcia G. Ory Graduate Fellowship in Statistics through the Texas A&M Foundation to benefit students pursuing graduate degrees in the Department of Statistics. The $25,000 gift, intended to help recruit top students to the Texas A&M Statistics graduate program, will provide discretionary funds -- $2,000 per year for four years per student, in addition to nominal relocation support in the initial year -- that the department can use to supplement existing graduate stipends.

Texas A&M Dean of Science Meigan Aronson (left) and Texas A&M Department of Statistics Professor and Head Valen E. Johnson (right) congratulate Distinguished Professor of Statistics Raymond J. Carroll (center) on creating the $25,000 Raymond J. Carroll and Marcia G. Ory Graduate Fellowship in Statistics.

"Marcia and I are delighted to be able to support students who will be leaders in the field," Carroll said.

Carroll, who joined the Texas A&M Statistics faculty in 1987 and 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. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 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.

Ory, a Regents Professor of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences (2007) and a Distinguished Professor of Healthy Aging (2013), is an international leader in healthy aging, community-based prevention and wellness. In addition to serving as associate dean of research in the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Public Health, she is director of the Program on Healthy Aging and the academic partner for the Community Research Center for Senior Health. Since 2007, she also is an adjunct professor in Texas A&M Statistics. Ory spent 20 years at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Bethesda, Md., prior to coming to the TAMHSC in 2001 and is credited with helping to generate the multidisciplinary study of aging, health and behavior.

Carroll's research applications likewise span the gamut of multidisciplinarity. 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 has published more papers in the Journal of the American Statistical Association than anyone else, and he has had continuous federal research funding as a principal investigator since 1975.

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.

"Dr. Carroll is a world-renowned statistician whose research has had an enormous impact on many fields of science -- most notably, of course, in statistics but also in genomics, nutritional science, clinical trials and a host of other areas," said Valen E. Johnson, professor and head of Texas A&M Statistics. "Dr. Carroll's and Dr. Ory's generosity in providing these fellowships will undoubtedly have a major impact in the department's ability to attract the very best graduate students. The draw of being named a Raymond J. Carroll and Marcia G. Ory Graduate Fellow at Texas A&M University will certainly be attractive to any student with a serious interest in statistical science."

Carroll's many honors include mention among Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers 2014, the American Statistical Association's Gottfried E. Noether Senior Scholar Award for Nonparametric Statistics (2014), the National Cancer Institute's Method to Extend Research In Time (MERIT) Award (2005), the National Institute of Statistical Sciences' Jerome Sacks Award for Multidisciplinary Research (2003), the International Society for Bayesian Analysis' Mitchell Prize (2003), the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies' Fisher Award and Lecture (2002) and President's Award (1988) and the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (1996). He is also a two-time Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Research winner (2004, 1994).

This article was originally published by the College of Science

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