Kathy Ensor, a member of the statistics faculty at Rice University for 30 years, has been named the Noah G. Harding Professor of Statistics, effective Jan. 1.
Reginald DesRoches, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering, and Marie Lynn Miranda, Howard R. Hughes Provost and Professor of Statistics, recommended Ensor for the endowed chair, and the nomination was approved by the Board of Trustees at its Dec. 7 meeting.
Ensor earned her B.S. and M.S. in mathematics from Arkansas State University in 1981 and 1982, respectively, and her Ph.D. in statistics from Texas A&M University in 1986. She joined the Rice faculty as an assistant professor of statistics in 1987, and served as department chair from 1999 to 2013. She is the founding director of the Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems, and also director of the Kinder Institute’s Urban Data Platform.
Ensor’s research focuses on development of statistical and data science methods for practical problems. Her expertise is on dependent data covering time, space and dimension. Her interests include finance, energy, environment and risk management. Her recent work on air quality and health has had a significant positive impact on Houston residents and a global impact on research in this area.
She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been recognized for her excellence in research, leadership and mentoring. Currently, she serves as vice president of the ASA and is a member of the National Academies Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics.
In his letter announcing her appointment to the endowed chair, David W. Leebron, Rice president, praised Ensor as a “recognized leader in your field and an accomplished and energetic scholar.”