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Math major wins award at statistician conference

The Lamar University Department of Mathematics hosted the annual Conference of Texas Statisticians (COTS) March 2-3 on the LU campus.  Anthony Daspit, an LU math major from Nederland, won third prize at the conference poster presentation. The competition is open to all doctoral, master’s and undergraduate students.  Twenty-two students from Baylor, Rice, Stephen F. Austin, UT-Dallas, Sam Houston State and Texas Christian participated in the competition. 

     His poster, titled The generalized Pareto distribution and threshold analysis of normalized hurricane damage in Gulf coast region is the result of a year-long research project under the supervision of Kumer Pial Das, associate professor of statistics, in the LU math department.  Daspit also presented his work at the Conference of Texas Statisticians (2011) and the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston in 2012.  He was the only undergraduate student to win an award.  Shymal De and Gerald Ogla won first and second prizes, respectively; both are doctoral students at UT-Dallas.

     Several noted professors of statistics from universities across Texas made presentations during the conference.  Among the presenters were Robert Serfling, UT – Dallas; Cecil Hallum, Sam Houston State University; Dennis Cox, Rice University; David Kahle, Baylor University; Mohammed A. Shayib, Prairie View A&M University, and Eddy Kwessi, Trinity University.

     “The conference went very well,” said Das, the conference organizer.  “About 80 statisticians from Texas attended the conference as well as delegates from Purdue University and as far away as Qatar.”

     The conference was first established at the annual American Statistical Association meeting in Houston in 1980.  Tom Bratcher, Bill Schucany and Jim Davenport organized the first COTS meeting in Waco in 1981.  The conference has since been held annually to stimulate increased chapter membership and the visibility of the statistical professions in Texas.