My Beginning in Statistics

When I was an undergraduate student studying mathematics at Austin Peay State University, Professor Jim Ridenhour was an influential role model.  In the classroom he was meticulous, supportive, and naturally funny.  I learned so much from him about the difference between a student who was simply working toward a degree and a student who was passionately studying.  A probability and statistics course with Prof. Ridenhour changed the way I viewed mathematics.  I saw that it wasn’t just interesting and fun, but it also was actually very useful!  Statistics as a discipline has fed both my practical and creative sides.  Over the course of my career I have been fortunate to encounter some inspiring role models.     

My Career Begins

After finishing my MS and PhD degrees in Statistics at Iowa State University, I went to work at AT&T Bell Laboratories.  I started as a member of technical staff, became a distinguished member of technical staff, and then moved into leadership as a technical manager.  I worked with engineers, computer scientists, physicist, and chemists and helped AT&T build highly reliable next generation telecommunications equipment.  My exposure to real-world problems and a corporate environment have influenced my research directions and collaborative leadership skills.  For most of my time at Bell Labs, I was also a part-time lecturer in the Department of Statistics at Rutgers University.  I fondly remember teaching Thursday night MS-level statistics classes.  I quickly found out how much I like preparing to give good lectures, and how much I like motivating students to apply themselves. 

Change Can Be Very Good

I often embrace change, and after 17 years at Bell Labs I decided to switch careers and move to the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).  I had high expectations when I came to UCR, but I never imagined it would work out so well. I have terrific colleagues in my department, and across the entire campus, and these rankings suggest something great is happening right now at UCR:

  • #1 in the country for social mobility (US News 2020)

  • #9 among public universities (Money Magazine)

  • #12 among public universities for 'best value colleges' (Forbes Magazine)

  • Top 1% of the Worlds' Universities (Center for World University Rankings)

Academic Experience Highlights​

Industry Experience Highlights​

  • 17 years at Bell Laboratories

    • Roles as a Member of Technical Staff, a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, and Technical Manager

    • Leadership role for a small group (3-5 members) of statisticians and reliability engineers

    • Hardware, Software and Network reliability modeling

    • Performance analysis modeling using queuing networks

    • Co-inventor on 10 U.S. Patents 

  • Statistical consulting with large companies such as VMWare, Sonus, National Football League, Carestream Health, Alere, and Del Monte

    • Inspiration for PhD dissertation topics 

    • Collaborative publications with industry colleagues and students

Government Experience Highlights​

  • 10 years consulting for the Mathematical Analysis Research Corporation (MARC), a sub-contractor to the U.S. Navy

    • Risk Assessment

    • Probit Modeling

    • Tolerance interval analyses

    • Reconciliation of test and field failure data​​​

    • Collaborative publications with MARC employees, and UCR faculty/students