Statistics Program at MSU: 1964-1970
President Lyndon B. Johnson won the 1964 election over Republican Senator Barry
Goldwater. Johnson successfully advanced his "Great Society" agenda of policies for
urban renewal, modern transportation, clean environment, anti-poverty, health-care
reform, crime control, and educational reform. Congress passed laws establishing Medicare,
Medicaid, civil rights, and voting rights.
At the same time, the Nation was providing military aid to South Vietnam in its war against North Vietnam. To maintain support for the domestic agenda, Lyndon Johnson's administration misled the public about the extent of that military involvement. Lyndon Johnson became so unpopular by 1968 that he decided not to run for a second term.
In April, 1968, the civil rights leader Martin Luther King was assassinated. In June, 1968, while campaigning to be the Democratic nominee in the upcoming election, Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Five months later, former VP Richard M. Nixon was elected President over Democrat VP Hubert Humphrey.
In 1969, Americans saw, via television, their astronauts walk on the surface of the moon. The détente period of relaxation in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the U.S. began in 1969. The 1970 census counted over 200 million in the U.S., doubling the 100 million recorded in 1920.
This seven-year era covers the term of MSU President Leon H. Johnson. The new Montana Governor Tim Babcock exhibited confidence in, and respect for, Johnson. By 1965, the previous negative political attitude toward MSU faded. MSU was able to improve both teaching conditions and faculty salaries. MSU classes were no longer scheduled to meet on Saturday mornings. In 1968, the people of Montana overwhelmingly voted to renew the six-mill levy for higher education. The legislature canceled the moratorium on university construction and MSU built on-campus dorms to accommodate the expanding student body.
Throughout the 1960s, enrollment at MSU increased exponentially, at an average annual rate of 8 percent, reaching 7200 in 1968. MSC officially became a university named Montana State University (MSU) on July 1, 1965. MSU granted 10,000 degrees across its many disciplines between 1960 and 1969, approximately the same number as were granted during the previous 67 years.
President Leon Johnson was struck by a serious heart attack in 1968 and passed away following surgery nine months later. During President Johnson's period of illness and for almost a year after his death, the VP for Administration William (Bill) Johnstone capably served as MSU’s Acting President.
During the 1960s, mechanical calculators still were used for desktop calculations. Mainframe computers were available and heavily used too. Statistical graphics were constructed by hand on graph paper. Mechanical drawing devices were attached to the computer, but they were impractical for most classroom or statistical research applications. During the late 1960s, the statistical computer packages Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Bio-Medical Data Package (BMDP) became generally available, though not at MSU until 1972 and 1973, respectively.
Statisticians were exploring nonlinear regression methods, the logrank test for censored survival data, extensions of the Cochran-Mantel-Haenzel method, variance component estimation, multiple comparison issues, and transformations (e.g., Box-Cox) for dealing with heterogeneous variance data.
In the Math Department, the era began with 3 statisticians among the 15 tenure-track faculty and 2 statistics graduate students among 9 instructors in the Department. In 1966, Quesenberry and Mode left for positions at other universities. Their tenure-track slots were filled in 1967 by Dr. Marvin M. Lentner (MSU: 1967–1968) and Dr. Kenneth Jerome Tiahrt (MSU: 1967–1994); they were hired by the new Department Head, Dr. Louis C. Barrett (MSU: 1967-1989). In 1968, Lentner left for a position at another university; his faculty slot was filled the next year by Dr. Richard E. Lund (MSU: 1969–1995). During a brief period when the statistics faculty was temporarily depleted, the mathematician Dr. Eldon Whitesitt taught the graduate-level probability course. At the end of AY 1969-1970, the faculty included 3 statisticians, McFeely, Tiahrt, and Lund.
The Computer Center became its own administrative unit separate from the Mathematics Department. Dr. Glenn R. Ingram (MSU: 1962-1968) was hired as Director of the Computer Center and he also was appointed an Associate Professor of Mathematics. In 1968, the campus received a new SDS Sigma 7 computer and Ingram left MSU for a position in the National Science Foundation.
The 1964-1966 MSU catalog shows that topics related to punched cards and associated equipment were deleted from the statistics curriculum and the following topics were added: statistical models, transformations, axioms underlying probability theory, limit theorems, and multivariate classification methods. The 1966-1968 course list was changed by deleting both Survey Design and Genetic Statistics and by adding a graduate course on Experimental Design & Linear Models. For the 1968-1970 catalog, the computer technology courses were deleted; the statistical methods courses were reorganized and renumbered. Also, for the first time, a faculty course supervisor (McFeely) was assigned to the 116 introductory statistics course to coordinate the large number of sections being taught.
During this era, the MS degree was awarded to 3 statistics students and the PhD degree was awarded to 4 statistics students. In 1964, the first PhD degrees under the statistics option in mathematics were awarded to Willis John Alberda and Don O. Loftsgaarden. Margaret (Palmer) Gessaman became the first female statistics student to receive a MS degree (1965) and the first to receive a PhD degree (1966).
By 1970, the department’s statisticians had established a record of conducting research and publishing papers, engaging in interdisciplinary consulting and collaboration, writing popular textbooks, using and creating state-of-the-art calculation tools, delivering modern courses for B.S., MS, and PhD students, and graduating students at all those degree levels.
Detailed Chronicle of the Statistics Program: 1964-1970
1964-1966 MSU Catalog
In 1964, four statisticians (Mode, McFeely, Quesenberry, and Ingram) are listed among
15 tenure-track faculty and 2 statistics students (Crump and Loftsgaarden) among 9
instructors in the Mathematics Department. The university created a new administrative
unit, the Computer Center, to manage the ever-growing computer presence on campus.
Thus the Computer Center was no longer a component of the Mathematics Department.
Dr. Glenn R. Ingram was hired in 1964 as Director, MSU Computer Center, with a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Mathematics. At that time the University used a 60K IBM 1620 Data Processing System that had been in operation since 1960.
Dr. Glenn R. Ingram (MSC: 1964-1968) received a PhD in mathematics from Washington State University in 1962, becoming the second mathematics student to earn a PhD at WSU. His dissertation "Applications of Invariant Embedding to Problems of Neutron Transport in a Slab," was directed by Dr. Ottis W. Rechard.
Dr. Ingram received in 1954 the first MS degree ever issued by our MSU statistics program. His appointment therefore added additional statistical expertise to the department’s faculty. In addition to his responsibilities for computer services, Dr. Ingram sometimes provided statistical consulting assistance to projects on campus.
Assistant Professor Mrs. Vinnie H. Miller was assigned to teach the Department's computer programming courses.
Revised courses (1964-1966) (topics/new emphasis in italics):
Math 331 Introduction to Programming. A, W, S. 1 cr. Lect. 1. Prerequisite, Math 114. Mrs. Miller.
An introduction to programming for a digital computer, using compiler language. Programs written by students will be processed on the computer on campus, but a language of wide applicability, such as FORTRAN, is used. (The topics “Punched-cards; functions of peripheral machines; basic machine-language” were deleted)
Math 424-*425 Statistical Methods. A, W. 4,4 cr. Lect. 3, 3; Lab. 1, 1. To be taken in sequence.
Prerequisite, Math 116 or graduate standing. Mr. McFeely and Staff.
The role of statistics in research. Introduction to methods of analyzing data from experiments. Emphasis is placed upon statement of statistical models and their correspondence with experimental investigations.
- Math 424: Basic concepts; point and interval estimation and tests or hypotheses for means and variances from one and two normal populations, one-way analysis of variance, multiple comparisons, and orthogonal contrasts; contingency tables; simple linear regression and correlation.
- Math 425: Multiple linear regression; analysis of variance for nested, randomized complete-blocks, and latin-square designs; missing values; transformations; factorials; analysis of covariance; recent developments.
Math 430 Experimental Design. S. 4 cr. Lect. 3; Lab. 1. Prerequisite, Math 425. Mr. Quesenberry and Staff.
2n factorial series, confounding, and fractional replication; split plot designs and variants; first and second-order designs for getting response surfaces; lattices; balanced and partially balanced incomplete-block designs; recovery of interblock information.
Math 432 Advanced Programming. W. 3 cr. Lect. 2; Lab. 1. Prerequisite, Math 331 and Math 123. Staff.
Basic computer concepts; a thorough treatment of machine-language and symbolic programming for the computer on campus; subroutine and rational approximation. Laboratory gives experience in the use of the computer and peripheral equipment.
Math 433 Techniques for Digital Systems. S. 3 cr. Lect. 2; Prerequisites, Math 432, Math 316 or Math 416. Lab. Staff.
General treatment of digital equipment; mathematical statistics techniques in computation; examination of existing monitors, assembly programs and compilers; modification and construction of such routines. Laboratory in programming. (Deleted math topics such as random number generation, monte carlo methods of numerical integration, numerical solution of differential equations.)
Math 435 Survey Design. (Alternate years; will be offered 1965-66) 3 cr. Lect. 3. Prerequisite, Math 425. Staff.
An introduction to the methodology and elementary theory for sampling from discrete distributions. Emphasis is upon the basic sample designs; simple random, stratified, systematic, and cluster sampling designs; and upon methods of estimation of population characteristics. Discussion of problems arising in applications. (Deleted questionnaire construction)
Math 537-538-539 Multivariate Statistical Analysis. (Alternate years, will be offered 1965-1966) A, W, S. 3, 3, 3 cr. Lect. 3, 3, 3. To be taken in sequence. Prerequisites, Math 416 and 409. Mr. McFeely, Mr. Mode. (new topics in italics)
Multivariate normal distribution; estimation of mean vector, covariance matrix; distribution of sample correlation coefficients, the classification problem; Wishart distribution, testing the general linear hypothesis; testing for equality of covariance matrices; principal components; canonical correlation; new developments.
Math 541-542-543 Probability. (Alternate years, will be offered in 1964-1965) A, W, S. 3,3,3 cr. Lect. 3,3,3 Prerequisite, Math 413. Mr. Mode.
Measure theoretic foundations of probability, axioms for a probability space, limit theorems for sequences of independent random variables, the central limit problem, and elements of stochastic processes.
By 1964, the statistics program at MSC was complete. The faculty were conducting research and publishing papers, were engaged in interdisciplinary consulting and collaboration, had written a popular textbook, were using state-of-the-art calculation tools, and had created a modern curriculum through the PhD level. Could the momentum be maintained?
Charles Quesenberry left MSU in 1966 to take a position in the Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, where he remained until 1996 when he retired into a statistical consulting practice.
Charles Mode also left MSU in 1966 to become Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Statistics, State University of New York at Buffalo. After he was promoted to full professor in 1970, he moved to Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, where he remained until he retired in 1998.
Graduate Degrees Awarded: 1964 - 1966
Four graduate degrees were awarded, one at the MS level and three at the PhD level.
In 1965, Margaret (Palmer) Gessaman became the first female statistics student to receive the MS degree.
The first PhD degrees in Mathematics under the Statistics Option were awarded by MSC
in 1964, to Willis John Alberda and Don Owen Loftsgaarden. In 1966, Margaret (Palmer) Gessaman became the first woman at MSU to receive a PhD
degree in Mathematics under the Statistics Option.
- Dr. Alberda’s dissertation was “Two Central Limit Theorems and Their Applications to the Estimation of Both Parameters in the Binomial Distribution,” directed by Prof. Charles Mode.0
This synopsis of Dr. Willis Alberda’s career was written in May, 2021, by Marty Hamilton based on communications and conversations with Dr. Alberda.
After Wil received his PhD degree in 1964, he joined the faculty at Dordt University in Sioux Center, IA. The Alberdas raised two daughters, both of whom graduated from Dordt University. Wil's spouse Joanne Alberda completed graduate work at MSU where she obtained a MA in Art. Then she taught photography and art courses at Dordt University. After nearly 20 years of college teaching, Joanne retired in 2001 and has a successful second career as a textile artist.
Willis & Joanne Alberda 2021.
Wil immediately assumed broad responsibilities when he arrived on the Sioux Center campus. He explained that Dordt was a Christian college associated with the church he attended in Montana. Dordt became a four-year college during the Wil’s first year there. Prior to that Dordt had been a two-year college basically training teachers for the schools associated with the church. At first, Wil essentially was a one person Math Department. He taught most of the math courses, but little statistics because there were few undergraduate statistics courses at liberal arts colleges such as Dordt. Later, new staff took over some of the math courses, allowing Wil to create statistics courses. Wil quickly became an administrator at the college. He described one interesting challenge, heading Service Learning projects in the undergraduate program. “At one time Service Learning was a big thing to do and, boy, did that meet opposition from faculty [who assumed that] no education could occur outside the classroom. I had people going on internships before we offered courses on the topics they practiced. Internship work was called Special Topics in the catalog. There was a company here in central Iowa that was willing to mentor interns. Some former Dordt interns are still working there and that company is international now.”
Wil Alberda was a dedicated and versatile teacher. He developed courses for the math/stat and computer science programs. During his 37 years before retirement in 2001, he taught a diverse array of mathematics courses, covering at least 24 distinct math topics, as well as 3 different computer science courses. He regularly taught Elementary Statistics and Statistical Methods to lower division students and Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics to upper division students.
Wil served intermittently as Department Head, a responsibility that was rotated among the department’s established members. When the computer age arrived, Wil was for 8 years the coordinator of Computer Services at Dordt. He was the Dean of the Natural Sciences Division for 15 years. Beginning in 1994, Wil served as a consultant and evaluator for the North Central Association, which is a college and university accreditation authority for that region of the U.S. Wil also served on various campus-wide committees. He regularly represented Dordt at regional and national education conferences (esp., the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics), and at regional and national meetings for mathematics (esp., Mathematics Association of America). He was a member of the American Statistical Association and followed advances in statistics via the American Statistician and the Journal of the American Statistical Association.
Wil Alberda provided extensive service to the Sioux Center community and beyond. Here are a couple examples. For a period of 30 years, Wil was a member of on the Sioux Center City Council and Treasurer for the Sioux Center Recreation and Arts Council. Sioux Center owns its own power company, a locally-managed, not-for-profit corporation; Wil was a member of its Board of Directors for a 6-year term.
At present, the older Alberda daughter is settled in North Carolina and the younger in Colorado. Now Joanne and Wil have children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren located around the country. Their travels are mostly to visit their off-spring, but they occasionally return to Churchill and Bozeman.
To learn more about Dr. Wil Alberda’s impressive academic career and his extensive community service projects, see his Vita and Narrative (links below).
- Dr. Loftsgaarden’s dissertation was “Nonparametric Classification and Nonparametric Density Function Estimation,” directed by Assoc. Prof. Charles Quesenberry1
Synopsis of Don Loftgaarden's Career by Marty Hamilton
Don Loftsgaarden was born, raised, and educated in Montana. Shortly after receiving his PhD degree, he began a distinguished career of statistics leadership at the University of Montana (UM). He was the second statistician hired into the Mathematics Department at UM. Because the first statistician quickly moved into administrative positions, Don was the senior statistician in the faculty at UM for essentially his whole career. From 1967 until the turn of the 21st century, he led the academic growth of statistics at UM, including the creation of a comprehensive statistics curriculum from introductory courses through the doctorate level.
Don Loftsgaarden 2020.
Throughout his career, Don was dedicated to teaching, service, and research. He produced important innovations in statistics education and provided selfless statistical services to the University, the Missoula community, government agencies, and the statistics profession. At the time of his retirement, UM wrote the following synopsis of Don’s accomplishments:
“Professor Loftsgaarden ... has collaborated and consulted extensively over his career with students and faculty in numerous other departments and with the Forest Service. He has also been an innovator in statistical education at The University of Montana. Starting in 1991, he developed a new large-lecture introductory statistics course which he has taught more than a dozen times. The course has grown to over 400 students per semester and Professor Loftsgaarden has continually improved it, having recently developed a large web site resource for the course. At the national level, Professor Loftsgaarden was a member of the Survey Committee of the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences from 1978 to 1997. This committee, with support from the National Science Foundation, conducts major surveys of mathematics departments at colleges and universities in the U.S. every five years. In 1985 and 1990 Professor Loftsgaarden carried out the surveys, did all the data analysis, and co-authored the resulting reports, which are used by national mathematics organizations, governmental agencies, and colleges and universities. He has also served since 1988 on a joint committee of the Mathematical Association of America and the American Statistical Association which gathers and publishes annual data on the mathematics profession. Locally, Professor Loftsgaarden was Department Chair for a total of five years over two different terms. In his second term from 1992-95, he worked extremely hard to manage a department that had grown to over 120 staff, faculty, and teaching assistants, and included two major national mathematics education grants. He received the University’s Academic Administrator Award in 1995 for his hard work and effective leadership.”
Please see the narrative that Don contributed. He describes his education and career, including his time as a student at MSC (select the link below).
Dr. Gessaman's dissertation was “Discrimination models on two probability distributions”; it was directed by Dr. Charles Quesenberry2
The statistician Dr. Margaret P. Gessaman was the first woman to receive a B.S., the first female statistician to receive an MS, and the first woman to receive a PhD from the MSU Mathematics Department. She had an outstanding career in research, teaching, consulting, and service. Her academic service is especially noteworthy. At the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), she served ten years as the Chairperson for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and 13 years as the Dean of Graduate Studies & Research.
Margaret P. Gessaman 1988.
Margaret Jean Palmer was brought up and educated in Montana. She graduated from Polson High School in 1952 and enrolled at Montana State College (MSC) that fall. After graduating in 1956 with a B.S. in mathematics, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study mathematics in Germany. At the end of her Fulbright year, Margaret stayed in Europe for another 3½ years doing statistical work in England and Wales. In 1961 she returned to MSC to begin graduate studies. After her first year of graduate work, she received a three-year NDEA fellowship to support a PhD degree. Margaret Palmer married Paul Gessaman in 1965, becoming Margaret P. Gessaman. The following year Margaret completed her dissertation on discriminant analysis and received a PhD degree from MSU (1966).
Dr. Gessaman served as a MSU Math Department instructor for another year, providing needed statistical expertise after the departures of Dr. Mode and Dr. Quesenberry. In 1967, Margaret took a position as an Assistant Professor at Ithaca College in New York. In 1970, Margaret accepted a faculty position at UNO where she remained for 30 years.
Margaret was an effective teacher and productive researcher at UNO, and soon was promoted to Professor of Mathematics. In 1973, UNO appointed her the Chairperson of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. She served as the Department Chairperson for a total of 10 years in two separate stints. In recognition of her administrative success, Dr. Gessaman received the prestigious 1978 UNO Chancellors Medal. From 1980 to 1993 Margaret was the UNO Dean of Graduate Studies & Research. While in that position, she strengthened the graduate college in the crucial areas of academic and curricular quality and rigor. She was instrumental in obtaining for the Physics Department funds to support research in materials science. After return to her home department, Margaret served three more years in the position of Department Chairperson and played an important role in creating a graduate degree program in computer science, When not serving as the Chairperson, she was active in the UNO Faculty Senate. At the end of academic year 1999-2000 Margaret retired from UNO. Dr. Margaret P. Gessaman passed away in 2014.
1966-1968 MSU Catalog
Louis Barrett 1972
In February, 1967 Dr. Louis Carl Barrett (MSU: 1967-1989) took the position of Professor and Head
of the Department of Mathematics, replacing Eldon Whitesitt who returned to teaching. Barrett had administrative experience,
including the position he left to come to Bozeman, Chairman of the Department of Mathematics
at Clarkson College of Technology in New York. One of Barrett’s first actions in 1967
was to replace the vacant Quesenberry and Mode positions by hiring two newly-graduated statisticians, Dr. Ken Tiahrt and Dr. Marvin Lentner.
Dr. Kenneth Jerome Tiahrt (pronounced ‘tee-art’; MSU: 1967–1994) received his PhD in Statistics in 1967 from Oklahoma State University. His dissertation, “A Method of Constrained Randomization for 2N Factorials” was directed by Dr. David Lee Weeks.
Dr. Marvin Meinrad Lentner (MSU: 1967–1968) received his PhD in Statistics in 1967 from Kansas State University, the first person to receive a PhD from the newly-created doctorate program at Kansas State. His dissertation, “Application of Generalized Inverses for the Optimal Design and Analysis of Randomized Fractional Replicates” was directed by Dr. Shelemyahu Zacks. Dr. Marvin Lentner's stay at MSU was brief. He had joined the faculty at the University of Akron in Ohio by 1969.
The statistics faculty and courses are exactly as in the previous catalog except that Mr. J. C. Miller was assigned to teach the computer courses. The undergraduate courses 435-Survey Design and 437-Genetic Statistics were deleted from the math curriculum. Math 508, a new statistics graduate course, was added:
Prerequisites, Math 408, Math 430 Mr. McFeely
This course will treat advanced topics and extensions of some of Math 430 (Experimental Design) which a first-year graduate student in statistics must take. Experimental designs and analysis, regression and covariance, and special topics in analysis of variance.
1968-1970 MSU Catalog
In 1968, the Math Department listed 3 statisticians among 23 tenure-track faculty and one statistician among the 9 Instructors. Assistant Professor John C. Miller was assigned to teach 211, the computer programming/FORTRAN course that soon would be phased out. The mathematician J. Eldon Whitesitt was listed among the instructors of 541-2-3 Probability; he had previous, but brief, experience as a statistical consultant, as well as the required mathematical knowledge of real analysis.
In the Fall of 1969, Dick Lund was hired to fill the faculty position vacated by Lentner. Dr. Richard Edgar Lund (MSU: 1969–1995) received his PhD in Economics and Statistics in 1967 from the Iowa State University of Science and Technology. His dissertation “Factors Affecting Consumer Demand for Meat, Webster County, Iowa” was directed by Dr. Wayne Arthur Fuller. Prior to MSU, he spent two years teaching and consulting at Mexico’s National Agricultural College. He helped that College establish graduate programs in statistics and economics under a grant from the Ford Foundation to Iowa State University. Dick is a co-author of this History, the statistician we sometimes denote by REL.
The changes in the statistics curriculum included the assignment of a course supervisor (McFeely) for the multi-sectioned 116. The two computer science courses, 432-Advanced Programming and 433-Techniques for Digital Systems, were deleted from the Math curriculum. The statistical applications and methods courses were reorganized and renumbered, 424 became 324, 425 became 325, 430 became 326.
Let us review the history of the important Statistical Methods 324-325-326 sequence. It was first introduced by Livers and entered into the 1952-1954 Catalog with the titles Modern Statistical Analysis, Introductory Theory of Probability, and Special Problems in Statistics. Ostle changed the sequence to the 400-level for the 1954-1956 Catalog when he converted 324 to 424 - Statistical Concepts and 325 to 425 - Multiple regression; analysis of variance and covariance. In the next 1956-1959 Catalog, Ostle introduced 430 - Experimental Design. McFeely and Mode deleted 426 - Special Topics from the curriculum for the 1960-1962 Catalog. Statistical Methods 424-425-430 remained at the 400 level until the 1968 - 1970 Catalog when McFeely, Tiarht and Lentner returned the sequence to Livers' original numbers 324-325-326, but retained the 424-425-430 descriptions.
I (Lund) taught the Statistical Methods sequence my first several years at MSU and found enrollment generally to consist of one‑third undergraduate and two‑thirds graduate students. The courses served students from agricultural, biological, social and physical sciences as well as statistics majors. The 400-level seemed appropriate to me. The graduate students needed practical preparation for analyzing their research data. Non-statistics graduate students often listed Statistics as an area of minor concentration on their graduate programs. I am unaware of the motivation for returning the sequence to the 300-level.
The methods sequence was partitioned into 15 one-credit short courses (modules) at the 300-level in 1978, then into fewer two-credit modules. When the University moved to the semester system for the 1991-1992 Catalog, the original 324-325-326 sequence from the 1950s was represented by 410 - Applied Multiple Regression & Multivariate Analysis and 412 - Analysis of Variance & Design of Experiments.3
In 1968,the campus installed a new SDS Sigma 7 computer from Scientific Data Systems, Inc. The SDS designation changed to XDS when Zerox Data Systems purchased SDS, but a few years later Honeywell bought XDS. The computer was located on the first floor of the Renne Library, accessible via the south door. After acquiring the computer for MSC, Dr. Glenn Ingram, Director of the Computer Center and Math Department faculty member, left MSU for a position in the National Science Foundation.
Soon after arriving in 1969, I (Dick Lund) discovered that no statistical software
tools were available for the Sigma 7. I wanted students in my Statistical Methods
classes to experience “modern” data analysis, using punch-cards and computer processing
for lengthy routine calculations. My “big idea” was to enable students to concentrate
on data interpretation rather than the “drudgery” leading up to the interpretation.
I wrote one Fortran program to calculate sums, sums-of-squares and sums-of-cross-products for group-specifiable data that could be used in ANOVA and covariance problems, and another program for multiple regression. (Glenn Ingram, when departing, had left a suitable matrix-inversion routine. Maybe he was attempting to develop a regression program at the time.) Students and staff across the campus were soon using my programs – possibly in preference to BMD0, the preliminary version of the forthcoming package BMDP.
I also used monte carlo simulation techniques with the Sigma 7 in my classes to demonstrate statistical concepts such as type 1 and type 2 error rates. I supplied a randomly generated unique set of data to each student for their lab problem. While I encouraged students to work some with other students in order to learn from each other, they also had to do calculations on their own data. And when talking about the lab data analysis in class, we could all share a laugh at the few unlucky students whose data produced a type 1, or even a type 2, error, recognizing that the error rates were set by the instructor when generating the data!
– Dick Lund
Graduate Degrees Awarded: 1968 - 1970
MS degrees in Mathematics were awarded in 1969 to two statistics students, Roy Neal Byrd and Charles Edward Shaffer; both immediately entered the statistics PhD program.
- Dr. Crump's dissertation “Some Generalized Age-Dependent Branching Processes” was supervised by Dr. Charles Mode4
Kenny Crump 2018
Dr. Kenny Crump went on to become a widely-respected expert on risk analysis, especially in characterizing the risks associated with carcinogens in the environment. He was elected as a Fellow in both the American Statistical Association and the Society for Risk Analysis. His many scientific contributions have been recognized with various awards, including a Distinguished Achievement Medal from the American Statistical Association, a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Risk Analysis, and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Louisiana Tech University. At the present time (late 2020), Dr. Crump is professionally active as a private consultant and as an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Louisiana Tech University.
Last revised: 2021-06-05