Marina Vannucci, professor and chair of statistics at Rice University, has been named to the Noah Harding Chair of Statistics, effective July 1, 2016.
Vannucci was recommended for the endowed chair by Edwin L. “Ned” Thomas, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering, and Marie Lynn Miranda, the Howard R. Hughes Provost and professor of statistics. The honor was approved by the Rice Board of Trustees at its Sept. 15 meeting.
In his letter to Vannucci confirming the endowed chair, Rice President David Leebron said: “Congratulations on this distinguished recognition, and thank you for your contributions as a recognized leader in your field and as an accomplished and energetic scholar. We also thank you for your services as a department chair, senior faculty member, and strong mentor of students and postdoctoral researchers at Rice.”
Vannucci earned her Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Florence, Italy, in 1996. Two years later she joined the statistics department at Texas A&M University, where she became a full professor in 2005. She was elected to the American Statistical Association in 2006 and joined the Rice faculty the following year.
In her research, Vannucci focuses on development of statistical models for complex problems. In recent years, she has become increasingly involved in the development of methods for the analysis of large data, with applications in many fields, including genomics and neuroimaging.
Vannucci serves as director of the Interinstitutional Graduate Program in Biostatistics at Rice and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She also holds an honorary appointment at the University of Liverpool in the U.K., and is editor-in-chief of the journal Bayesian Analysis, the leading open-access electronic journal sponsored by the International Society of Bayesian Analysis (ISBA). In 2014 she was elected a Fellow of the ISBA.
She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.