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Jacqueline M. Hughes-Oliver

1 February 2020 2,240 views No Comment

Jacqueline M. Hughes-Oliver

Affiliation: Professor of Statistics at North Carolina State University
Educational Background: PhD, Statistics, North Carolina State University; BA, Mathematics, University of Cincinnati

After earning her PhD in 1991 from North Carolina State University (NC State) and working for one year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jacqueline M. Hughes-Oliver returned to NC State and transitioned through the usual academic ranks. She served as faculty fellow at the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) and was professor of statistics at George Mason University (2011–2014). Hughes-Oliver was director of the Exploratory Center for Cheminformatics Research at NC State (2005–2009) and director of graduate programs for the NC State Department of Statistics (2007–2010).

Hughes-Oliver has a variety of research interests. Since 2000, her research has been sponsored by a number of agencies, including the National Science Foundation, North Carolina Department of Transportation, and National Institutes of Health. Her methodological research focuses on prediction and classification, analysis of high-dimensional data, variable and model selection with dimension reduction, design and analysis of pooling or mixture experiments, optimal design, and spatial modeling. Application areas include drug discovery and cheminformatics, ontology-driven analysis of microarray studies, metabolomics, point sources, environmental modeling, engineering manufacturing, and transportation modeling.

In addition to research activities, Hughes-Oliver is committed to teaching at all levels. She has been recognized several times with outstanding teacher awards and was elected to the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers. In 2001, she was named an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor at NC State. She was also recognized in 2004 with the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching from the NC State College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

Other awards include the D.D. Mason Faculty Award from the NC State Department of Statistics (2006), the ASA’s 2006 Statistics in Chemistry Award, ASA Fellow Award in 2007, and Blackwell-Tapia Prize in 2014.

Hughes-Oliver is passionate about outreach to underrepresented groups in the mathematical and statistical sciences. She has given extensive service to conferences and workshops such as StatFest, Field of Dreams, Infinite Possibilities, Joint Statistical Meetings Diversity Program and Mentoring Workshop, and ENAR Diversity Workshop. She also currently serves on a number of boards focused on broadening participation, including the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences and the African Diaspora Joint Mathematics Workshop.

Hughes-Oliver was born in Jamaica and raised there by her grandmother until age 15, at which time she moved to join her mother in Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend the University of Cincinnati. She chose to study statistics in graduate school because of its applicability to every discipline; the thought of being able to make contributions in myriad areas was particularly enticing.

Hughes-Oliver has the blessing of having been mentored and supported by many people. Some particularly special people include Tom Gerig, Dan Solomon, Cavell and Cecil Brownie, Dennis Boos, Bill Swallow, Sastry Pantula, Dave Dickey, J.C. Lu, David Minda, and the college freshman orientation leaders who guided her to major in mathematics. The entire NC State Department of Statistics—faculty, staff, and students—also deserves special mention.

Finally, Hughes-Oliver lives by the following philosophy:

  • Be true to yourself. Live life to the fullest and enjoy it as if no one is watching.
  • Your past (positive or negative) cannot be changed. It contributed to the person you are today. Now look to the future and claim the prize ahead.
  • Be kind and thoughtful. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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