Robert V. Hogg

48MS, 50PHD Faculty Staff 2003

Robert V. Hogg, 48MS, 50PhD, was a highly visible faculty member and administrator at the University of Iowa for more than half a century, first in mathematics and then in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, which he helped found in 1965. Known for his gift of humor and his passion for teaching, Hogg has had far-reaching influence in the field of statistics.

A native of Hannibal, Missouri, Hogg pursued his B.A. in mathematics at the University of Illinois, then came to the UI in 1947 to pursue his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics, specializing in actuarial sciences and statistics. Fortunately for the UI, he never left.

Hogg's distinguished UI career began when he was a student and part-time instructor from 1947 to 1950. He remained as a professor from 1950 until his retirement in 2001, and he continues to influence the department as an emeritus professor-though from the comfort of his retirement home in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Throughout his career, Hogg has played a major role in defining statistics as a unique academic field, and he almost literally "wrote the book" on the subject. Four textbooks Hogg has co-written have become classroom standards used by hundreds of thousands of students nationwide. The classic texts Introduction to Mathematical Statistics and Probability and Statistical Inference, first published in 1959 and 1977, respectively, have reached their fifth and sixth editions.

Under Hogg's leadership as chair from 1965 to 1983, the UI Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science became known throughout the profession as one of the top programs in the country. While Hogg is recognized worldwide as an innovative researcher and writer, many of his UI students can testify to his outstanding abilities as a teacher.

Hogg is also known for his untiring involvement in professional organizations, particularly the American Statistical Association (ASA), which stands as the largest body of professional statisticians in North America and perhaps the world. His work with ASA spanned more than 40 years, and included serving for three terms on the executive council, as well as chairing and participating as a member on many of the organization's committees. Being elected president of ASA-as Hogg was in 1988-is one of the most prestigious honors a statistician can receive.

Among the many awards he has received for distinction in teaching, Hogg has been honored at the national level (the Mathematical Association of America Award for Distinguished Teaching), the state level (the Governor's Science Medal for Teaching), and the university level (Collegiate Teaching Award). His important contributions to statistical research have been acknowledged by his election to fellowship standing in the ASA and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

The Alumni Association is proud to honor a man whose career has helped define the field of statistics, and whose work as an educator has benefited-and will continue to benefit-generations of students at the UI and throughout the world.

Hogg is a member of the UI Foundation's Presidents Club and the UIAA's Old Capitol Club.

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