People News for July 2013
The department of biostatistics in the Harvard School of Public Health has named Nilanjan Chatterjee¸ senior investigator and chief of the biostatistics branch of the National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, as the 2013 Myrto Lefkopoulou Distinguished Lecturer.
Chatterjee will present a lecture, titled “Genetic Architecture of Complex Diseases: Implications for Discovery, Prediction, and Prevention,” on September 19 at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The lectureship was established in perpetuity in memory of Myrto Lefkopoulou, a faculty member and graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health. Lefkopoulou died of cancer in 1992 at the age of 34 after a courageous two-year battle. She was deeply beloved by friends, students, and faculty.
Each year, the lectureship is awarded to a promising statistician who has made contributions to either collaborative or methodologic research in the applications of statistical methods to biology or medicine and/or has shown excellence in the teaching of biostatistics. Ordinarily, the lectureship is given to a statistician within 15 years of earning a doctorate.
Nominations for next year’s lectureship are welcome and should be sent to the Myrto Lefkopoulou Lecture Committee, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115. Nominations should include a letter of nomination and a CV and be sent by March 31, 2014.
Nagaraj K. Neerchal
Nagaraj K. Neerchal, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), received the 2013 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Award for Innovation Excellence-Academic Transformation in Teaching.
Since becoming chair of UMBC’s department of mathematics and statistics, Neerchal has developed a reputation for being a pioneer for educational and administrative initiatives. The department he leads provides foundational courses for undergraduates, and his innovative approaches have been crucial to maintaining excellence in education. His development of the Quiz Zero initiative—a complex assessment of a student’s preparedness for a particular math course—improved student success in foundational math courses.
Neerchal also led the department in the creation of hybrid learning material for statistics courses, combining the resource-efficient elements of online instruction with face-to-face instruction. The development of these projects facilitated greater faculty interaction with students.
Neerchal earned his PhD in statistics from Iowa State University under the guidance of Wayne A. Fuller. His interests are modeling and analysis of correlated observations. In 2000, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award and Medal from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and the Environment. He was elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2010.
Calyampudi R. Rao
A National Medal of Science winner, Calyampudi R. Rao, received his 37th honorary doctorate degree from the State University of New York during the university’s 167th commencement on May 12.
Rao is considered a world leader in statistics, whose achievements have had a profound impact on a wide range of fields over the past seven decades, among them engineering, biostatistics, economics, genetics, medicine, and anthropology. A recognized scholar, Rao is a member of the National Academies of Science, Indian National Science Academy, and Royal Society (UK Academy of Sciences).
The former director of the Indian Statistical Institute and Eberly Professor Emeritus of Statistics at Pennsylvania University, Rao spends part of the year with family in Western New York and has consequently developed a relationship with several University at Buffalo faculty members.
Visit the University website for details.