The Melvin W. Carter Professorship is an award to a faculty member for their exemplary research, teaching, mentorship, and citizenship in statistics. We recognize Dr. William F. Christensen for his nearly 20-year BYU career with the 2020 Melvin W. Carter Professorship. Dr. Christensen is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and has received the Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching award. He is a successful collaborator and mentor with expertise in spatial and environmental statistics. The professorship provides $10,000 annually for five years. He will have the opportunity to present at least one seminar a year to the faculty and students.
The professorship honors Dr. Carter who had a long and distinguished career as a professor of statistics at Brigham Young University. He was among the first faculty hired into the statistics department and became the second chair of the department. Through his laboratory experience, he learned the importance of statistical design and analysis tools. Carter’s unique combination of humility, rough edges, and respect for statistical models drew students to him and the discipline. Under his leadership, the department created the master’s degree program and began a tradition of statistical research motivated by collaboration with other disciplines. His search for knowledge, student centered research and teaching, and commitment to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints made him a fitting role model for all BYU faculty. This year, we award the Melvin W. Carter Professorship in memory of him and the tenth anniversary of his passing.