James R. Thompson Memorial Fund

To honor the life and contributions of James R. Thompson, the Department of Statistics established an endowed fund in 2018, through the generous contributions of family, friends and colleagues. The fund supports the James R. Thompson Distinguished Lecture Series and Student Award.

About James R. Thompson

James R. Thompson, Noah Harding Emeritus Professor of Statistics, joined the Rice faculty in 1970, as a member of the Mathematical Sciences Department in the School of Natural Sciences, and became the founding chair of the Department of Statistics in 1987. Thompson's research focused on statistical model building, biomathematics, quality control and computational finance. He did pioneering work in HIV/AIDS and cancer modeling, and served as an adjunct professor at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas School of Public Health.

Thompson was a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the International Statistical Institute. He was the recipient of the Army’s Wilks Medal and the ASA’s Don Owen Award for his work in quality control. He directed 17 doctoral students, and authored or co-authored 14 books.

Thompson retired from Rice in 2016, after 46 years as a member of the faculty. He died on Dec. 4 2017, at age 79.

Support the Fund

If you wish to donate to this fund, please follow the instructions below.


  • Go to Rice Connect
  • For "Designation," scroll to the bottom and select "Other"
  • Type "James R. Thompson Memorial Fund" in the Special Instructions box

By Phone
Call development at (713) 348-2229 and someone will make the process easy by taking all of your information by phone.

By Mail
Send your check to the address below:

James R. Thompson Memorial Fund
Department of Statistics
Rice University, MS 138
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX