The Statistics Division of ASQ is pleased to announce that Dr. Johannes Ledolter is the recipient of the 2022 William G. Hunter Award.

The William G. Hunter Award was established by the Statistics Division in 1987 to recognize the many contributions of its founding chair at promoting the use of applied statistics and statistical thinking. The attributes that characterize Bill Hunter's career - consultant, educator for practitioners, communicator, and integrator of statistical thinking into other disciplines - are used to help decide the recipient. 

Comments by Dr. Johannes Ledolter 

photo of Johannes Ledolter

I very much appreciate this great honor. It is special as I have known and learned from Bill Hunter. I came to the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 1971 to pursue my graduate education in statistics. Bill Hunter had just returned from a sabbatical in Singapore. I attended several of his courses on the statistical design of experiments and, as part of my research assistantship under George Box, spent several months that first year on the tables and figures and proof-reading the galleys of the Box-Hunter-Hunter book.

I followed with great interest Bill's projects with the Madison sewage treatment plant, the City of Madison, and the Police Department. Bill was a master of solving practically important problems through statistical learning. He was a great listener, outstanding communicator and wonderful writer as we all know from his highly influential book with George Box and Stu Hunter. 

I was greatly influenced by the philosophy of the Madison way of training statisticians: Work on important and interesting problems where statistics can make a difference, and work out the statistical theory that is needed to justify new statistical techniques. We were taught the importance of theory and practice of statistics, as a pair supporting each other, and the importance of explaining our work so that it was understandable and could be used by others. George Box, my PhD advisor, always emphasized that more theory never hurts and insisted that things were spelled out clearly.

I am greatly thankful for the guidance I got during my four years in Madison from George Box, Bill Hunter, George Tiao, Brian Joiner and many others. I tried to be a statistician who followed their leads. I look back at a 45-year career at universities, mostly at the University of Iowa and 15 years at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

I also had the opportunity to work on industry and business projects that showed me the areas where new statistical tools should be developed. I had the freedom to work on books, and I hope that they were useful: texts on forecasting (with Bovas Abraham), engineering statistics and statistical learning (with Bob Hogg), statistical and managerial tools of quality improvement, regression (with Bovas Abraham), business analytics, and text analysis (with my wife and law professor Lea VanderVelde).

I have fun with what I am doing – Bob Hogg, a friend and mentor, always said: If it's not fun, it is usually not worth doing.  The last ten years I have also been the statistician at the Iowa City VA Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss. Our fairly large group of researchers studies and investigates new cures to visual problems that originate from the optic nerve. We also study the impact of traumatic brain injuries on visual functions. Our mission is to gain new scientific insights, but also be translational and help people who are affected by visual problems. And there are plenty of veterans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

My role as a statistician addresses both the design stage as many of our studies involve experiments on mice and rats, and the analysis stage where we analyze the data from animal and human studies. Many of our analyses involve repeated measures (where each subject provides a sequence of observations over time). It is important to me and my colleagues that the statistical techniques are consistent with the way the designs had been carried out, and that our results are reproducible, robust and insensitive to individual observations.

Thank you for awarding me the Bill Hunter award.

Johannes Ledolter, University of Iowa 

Johannes Ledolter

Dr. Ledolter is a Professor of Business Analytics and of Statistics/Actuarial Science at the University of Iowa.  He also serves as Associate Investigator, Center for Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss for the Iowa City VA Health Care System.  Dr. Ledolter received a MS in Social and Economic Statistics from the University of Vienna, an MS in Statistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD in Statistics, also from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.   

Dr. Ledolter is the author of 10 books and more than 150 journal articles and chapters. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality and the American Statistical Association.  He is also an Elected Member of the International Statistics Institute. He served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Quality Engineering, and the Journal of Forecasting. He is a Fulbright Scholar. He served as the Program Chair and local organizer of the NBER-NSF seminar on time series in both Iowa City and Vienna. He was the Program Chair of the 1992 Joint Statistical Meetings. Additional information on Dr. Ledolter can be found on his website.