Kansas State University


Department of Statistics

Alumni News – New Fellows

KSU grads Bilder, Samaranayake to be named ASA Fellows

The American Statistical Association has published the list of members who will be honored at this year’s JSM in Chicago by being named Fellows of the Association.  The list includes two K-State Statistics Ph.D.’s – Chris Bilder and V.A. Samanarayake.

Chris Bilder
Chris Bilder

Chris Bilder earned his Ph.D. at K-State in 2000 under the direction of Dr. Tom Loughin.  Chris spent three years on the faculty in the Department of Statistics at Oklahoma State University before moving to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2003.  There he rose quickly to the rank of Professor.

Chris has established a strong record in his research work including numerous papers in categorical data topics as well as a book co-authored with his major professor entitled “Analysis of Categorical Data with R” that sold out its initial printing.   The book’s website is available at www.chrisbilder.com and contains 77 R programs with more than 11,000 lines of code.  He also has more than 30 hours of instructional videos associated with the book. In addition, Chris is highly regarded for his use of technology in the dissemination of teaching materials; he always seems to be among the first to bring innovative uses of technology to the classroom.   Chris always seems to be ahead of his time in this regard. Chris’ citation in the Awards Ceremony Booklet will read:   For influential contributions in categorical data analysis and group testing method; for leadership in the field of statistics education, especially his pioneering use of technology for online dissemination; and for extensive service to his department and to the ASA.

V.A. Samaranayake
V.A. Samaranayake

V.A. Samaranayake – known to one and all as ‘Sam’ – finished his Ph.D. at K-State in 1983 with Dallas Johnson as his advisor.  Sam has spent his entire professional career as a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at Missouri University of Science & Technology (formerly U. of Missouri-Rolla).  Sam has had a long and distinguished career, and he has been an exceptional teacher.  His efforts culminated in his being awarded M S&T’s University Curator’s Teaching Professorship, its highest teaching honor.  He also has a long history of service to the ASA, having held numerous offices and leadership positions within the organization.  But the place where Sam is off the charts in terms of service to the ASA and the profession of statistics is in his work with statistical education and statistical literacy.  Sam has organized and led 30 professional development workshops for teachers in the last 20 years.  He has had a very positive effect on the abilities of dozens of school teachers (of mathematics, the sciences and other areas) to deliver statistics to their students, and ultimately helping hundreds, even thousands of students in Missouri to better understand statistics. Sam’s citation in the Awards Ceremony Booklet will read:  For promoting the role of statistics in interdisciplinary research; for sustained leadership in professional development of K–12 teachers; for excellence in teaching and mentoring; and for service to the statistical profession.


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