Dr. Branislav Vidakovic, a professor of statistics at Georgia Institute of Technology and the current program director for statistics in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, has been appointed as head of the Department of Statistics at Texas A&M University, effective August 15, announced Dr. Valen E. Johnson, dean of the College of Science.
Vidakovic is set to arrive next month in College Station fresh off his year-long NSF sabbatical appointment that began in September 2018 and was extended for a second year. He has been a member of the Georgia Tech faculty since August 2000, where he is a professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as a courtesy professor in the School of Biology. He also has an adjunct professor appointment in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
“I have studied Brani’s research on Bayesian wavelet analyses for more than 20 years, beginning when we were both faculty members at Duke University,” Johnson said. “He is among the most prominent statisticians working in this important research area, and he also has worked in a broad range of applied research topics. His experience at the National Science Foundation, Duke and Georgia Tech uniquely qualify him for this position. Statistics is fortunate to have recruited him to lead the department over the next five years.”
Vidakovic earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Purdue University in 1992 after receiving both bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in mathematics from Belgrade University in Serbia. He was an assistant and associate professor of statistics at Duke University for eight years prior to joining the Georgia Tech faculty in 2000 and also held previous visiting teaching positions at the University of North Carolina and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Vidakovic’s research interests include Bayesian statistics, statistical modeling in wavelet domains and statistical analysis of signals and image processing, along with geoscientific and biomedical statistical applications. In addition to more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in statistics and applied mathematics publications, he has written 10 books. Equally accomplished in the classroom, Vidakovic has taught more than 40 different undergraduate and graduate statistics courses while advising nearly two dozen doctoral and master’s students.
A fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, Vidakovic is a member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, International Society for Bayesian Analysis and Institute of Industrial and System Engineers. In addition to an editor-in-chief for Wiley’s Second Edition of Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences, he has served as the former or current associate editor of Journal of the American Statistical Association, Communications in Statistics, Annals of Applied Statistics, Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, São Paulo Journal of Mathematical Sciences, Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference, Applied Stochastic Models in Business and Industry, the Brazilian Journal of Probability and Statistics, and Bayesian Statistics.
Vidakovic succeeds Johnson, who vacated the Texas A&M Statistics department head position in July 2018 when he initially was appointed as interim dean and later in May 2019 as permanent dean of the College of Science. Fellow Texas A&M statistician Dr. Daren B.H. Cline has filled the department’s top administrative role on an interim basis for the past four months, replacing Texas A&M statistician and Arseven/Mitchell Chair in Astronomical Statistics Dr. Jinhua Huang, who had served as acting head from July 2018 to April 2020.
To learn more about the Texas A&M Department of Statistics, go to https://www.stat.tamu.edu/.