Baylor Professor Wins National Award for Defense-related Statistical Expertise

April 20, 2021
WACO, Texas (April 20, 2021) –– Rodney Sturdivant, Ph.D., associate professor of statistical science in the Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences, has won the Army Wilks Memorial Award given jointly by the U.S. Army and the American Statistician Association (ASA).

The award is given each year to a statistician “based primarily on his contribution to the advancement of scientific or technical knowledge in Army statistics, ingenious application of such knowledge, or successful activity in the fostering of cooperation scientific matters which coincidentally benefit the Army, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Government, and our country generally,” according to the ASA.

“I feel so incredibly blessed in my career and deeply honored by this recognition,” Sturdivant said. “So much of what I have done involves collaborative statistics, and this is a tribute as much to the great people I have had the pleasure of working with as me. Nomination from such quality people is truly meaningful and reward enough.”

Sturdivant is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who served on active duty for 27 years after graduating from West Point. He completed his military service at West Point after being selected as an Academy Professor. During this time, he founded and directed the West Point Center of Data Analysis and Statistics (CDAS) and earned the academic rank of professor of applied statistics.

Following his retirement from the Army, Sturdivant held academic positions at Ohio State University and Azusa Pacific University before joining the Baylor University faculty in 2020.

Sturdivant said that while he has not been able to confirm the fact, he believes he is the only person to win the Army Wilks Memorial Award who has spent a career on active duty in the Army.

“The other winners are great statisticians who worked on military problems either as government employed statisticians or academic researchers who contributed either directly or indirectly to defense applications,” he said. “I am truly humbled, if that is the case, to represent those serving on active duty and working on statistical problems.”