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University of Virginia UVA Arts & Sciences Default

UVA Statistics Chair Elected President of American Statistical Association

May 25, 2017 |
Karen Kafadar, Commonwealth Professor of Statistics
Dan Addison / University Communications

Commonwealth Professor Karen Kafadar has been elected president of the American Statistical Association, the world’s largest community of statisticians and the oldest continuously operating professional science society in the United States. Kafadar, who joined the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ faculty in 2014, will serve a one-year term as the ASA’s president-elect beginning Jan. 1, 2018; her term as president becomes effective January 1, 2019.

The ASA and its members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare. Chair of the College’s Department of Statistics, Kafadar came to the University of Virginia from Indiana University. Her research on exploratory data analysis, the characterization of uncertainty in the physical, chemical, biological, and engineering sciences, and the methodology underlying the analysis of screening trials has won awards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Quality, and the ASA.

 “Complex problems - such as detecting emerging epidemics, ensuring food safety, protecting communications and other infrastructure networks, and establishing overall reliable standards - cannot be solved by single individuals,” Kafadar said in an ASA release announcing her election. “Statisticians are critical components of teams that address problems in academia, industry, and government, yet, all too often, their involvement arises by serendipity.

“I’m eager to serve as ASA President in 2019 and look forward to engaging ASA members and the broader statistical community to expand efforts that will forecast areas of change, inspire the next generation of statistical thinkers, and generate diverse opportunities for professionals to grow collectively and in their specialty.”

Prior to her faculty appointment at UVA, Kafadar was a mathematical statistician at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); a member of the Technical Staff at Hewlett Packard's RF/Microwave R&D Department; a fellow in the Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute (NCI); professor and Chancellor's Scholar at the University of Colorado-Denver, and the Rudy Professor of Statistics at Indiana University.

Kafadar currently serves as the biology and genetics editor for The Annals for Applied Statistics and previously was editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association's Review Section and for Technometrics. Additionally, she chairs the ASA's Committee on Statistics in Forensic Science, serves on the Forensic Science Standards Board, and is active on National Academy of Science committees. She is a fellow of the ASA, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and International Statistics Institute (ISI). The author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, Kafadar received her Ph.D. in statistics from Princeton University and both her master’s degree in statistics and her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford University.