303 Seeley Mudd Building
PO Box: AC# 2239
Nicholas J. Horton
Professor of Statistics
Departmental affiliation: Mathematics and Statistics
InterestsStatistics, Biostatistics, Psychiatric Epidemiology, Mathematical Sciences, Statistical Computing, Statistical Education, Missing Data Methods, JugglingAmherst College
Sc.D., Harvard School of Public Health (1999)
A.B., Harvard College (1987)
I have taught a variety of courses in statistics and related fields, including probability, mathematical statistics, regression and design of experiments. I'm passionate about improving quantitative literacy for students with a variety of backgrounds (for introductory statistics) as well as engagement and mastery of higher-level concepts and capacities to undertake research (for the upper level courses). I'm honored to have been the recipient of a number of teaching awards.
The continued growth of interdisciplinary scientific research as well as the advent of big data has been a hallmark of the past few decades. It is increasingly important to be able to connect disciplines in order to further scientific knowledge. As an applied biostatistician, my work is based squarely within the mathematical sciences, but spans other fields in order to ensure that research is conducted on a sound footing. The real-world research problems that these investigators face often require the use of novel solutions and approaches, since existing methodology is sometimes inadequate. Bridging the gap between theory and practice in interdisciplinary settings is often a challenge, and has been a particular focus of my work.
My statistical methodological research continues to focus on the development of approaches to account for multivariate response models, longitudinal studies and missing data. I recently completed a fellowship through the ASA/NSF/Bureau of Labor Statistics program, where I led a project to improve imputation methods for the Occupational Employment Survey.
In addition to developing new methods, there is a pressing need for statisticians to help disseminate and promulgate the use of modern approaches, as well as to to help ensure that scientific investigations are conducted on a solid statistical footing. Many of these projects have involved undergraduate students. I welcome these opportunities to help introduce students to research and consider this a key part of my teaching and scholarship.
Awards and honors
- Robert V. Hogg Award For Excellence in Teaching Introductory Statistics (2015, Mathematical Association of America)
- William D. Warde Statistics Education Award (2014, Mu Sigma Rho)
- Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2012)
- Journal of Statistics Education award for best paper (2011)
- Distinguished service award (2011, Boston Chapter of the American Statistical Association)
- Kathleen Compton Sherrerd '54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prize for distinguished teaching (2010, Smith College)
- Waller award for excellence and innovation in the instruction of elementary statistics at the undergraduate level (2009, American Statistical Association)
Research activities and publications
- Five College Guide to Statistics with R and RStudio
- Project MOSAIC package and vignettes
- American Statistical Association Guidelines for Undergraduate Programs in Statistics
- Using R for Data Management, Statistical Analysis, and Graphics (second edition)
- SAS and R: Data Management, Statistical Analysis, and Graphics (second edition)
Using R and RStudio at Amherst
R is a powerful open source environment for statistics. RStudio is an integrated development environment that facilitates the use of R by students and instructors. A server is available for members of the Amherst community at r.amherst.edu The following resources are intended to help those getting started with these systems.