​The Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America on Statistics Education has granted Nicholas Horton, professor of statistics, the Robert V. Hogg Award for Excellence in Teaching Introductory Statistics.

The award recognizes Horton as an individual who exhibits both excellence and growth in teaching introductory statistics. Horton was presented with the award last month at the 2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio, Texas.

The award, which includes a $500 stipend, honors the late Robert V. Hogg, professor of statistics at the University of Iowa. Hogg is known for his widely used textbooks on statistics. He passed away in December 2014.

Nicholas Horton

“I'm honored to be named the recipient of the Hogg award,” Horton said. “Robert Hogg’s infectious enthusiasm and skill in teaching statistics had an impact on generations of students and instructors, and it’s a privilege to be associated with his efforts on behalf of the profession.”

The association noted Horton’s contributions to the statistics community: he has served as chair of the American Statistical Association (ASA)’s working group on undergraduate statistics curriculum guidelines, developed R books for introductory statistics and co-authored the Project MOSAIC R Package.  R is an increasingly popular programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics, widely used for developing statistical software and data analysis. The NSF-funded Project MOSAIC is intended to help integrate the teaching of statistics, calculus, computing and science.

Horton received his A.B. from Harvard College and his Sc.D. in biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health. He has received teaching awards at Boston University and Smith College and was the 2009 winner of the ASA’s Waller Education Award for innovation in the instruction of elementary statistics. He is recognized as a Fellow of the ASA.

Statistics is one of Amherst’s newest majors, added to the math department in 2014. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics includes Horton, assistant professors Amy Wagaman and Shu-Min Liao and lecturer Xiaofei Wang.