William G. Hunter Award 2007: T.N. Goh

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photo of TN Goh recieving the Hunter Award

The recipient of the 2007 William G. Hunter Award is Thong Neh Goh. The Statistics Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) established the Hunter Award in 1987 in memory of the Division's founding chair to promote, encourage and acknowledge outstanding accomplishments during a career in the broad field of applied statistics. 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.

The photo shows T.N. Goh (left) receiving the Hunter Award from Douglas Montgomery at the 51st Annual Fall Technical Conference.

T.N. Goh sent me an email message and agreed to have this posted

You may not realize that I first met Bill 38 year ago, when he was in Singapore helping us set up the first school of engineering in the country. He persuaded me to go to the graduate school at UW-Madison and I daresay that's the best advice I ever got in my whole career. Now when I come to think of it, what Bill stood for in his lifetime has not been, and never will be, out of date. He had advocated the use of statistical thinking and the systems approach, which if anything is even more critical today in handling issues such as global warming and government effectiveness.

Also, statistical design of experiments has assumed an increasingly important role in performance improvement and optimization in the face of constrained resources, again something always in the minds of engineers, managers and business leaders. From time to time there are others who package statistical tools under labels Bill might not even have seen himself, such as "Design for Six Sigma," but the underlying idea is still the same: recognize the existence of variation, and the earlier you anticipate it and do something about it, the better off you will be in the end.

Bill's zeal in spreading the message and sharing his knowledge and expertise with people in other parts of the world is well known; I would even say that he had recognized that "the world is flat" way before the likes of Tom Friedman discovered the reality of globalization!

So that's to share my thoughts with you, having being honored by the Bill Hunter award. I am copying this to Stu, also to Doug who chairs the committee for this award. I really enjoy the professional association and friendship with you all.

It is great to keep getting news of the positive impact Dad had on their lives. - John Hunter