Larry Lesser, Ph.D., professor of mathematical sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso, is featured in the spring 2020 issue of The Journal of Statistics Education as part of its series on prominent statistics educators. Photo: UTEP Communications

Journal interviews UTEP Professor for series on Prominent Statistics Educators

The Journal of Statistics Education (JSE) interviewed The University of Texas at El Paso’s Larry Lesser, Ph.D., professor of mathematical sciences, in its spring 2020 issue as part of its series on prominent statistics educators.

Lesser, winner of a UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and UTEP’s most recent recipient of the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award, is one of the first 25 people worldwide, and the first from a Texas institution, to be included in the series.

“I’ve been interviewed in various venues about specific projects, but it was very meaningful to have the most widely read journal in my field interview me extensively about the whole of my career,” said Lesser, who added that he loved mentioning that UTEP had achieved Carnegie R1 status and the planned launch in 2021 of a new doctoral program in data science.

Interviewer Allan Rossman said the series aims “to provide a glimpse into the mindset of individuals who have played important roles in the development of statistics education, to give a sense for what went on during important times in that development, and to allow for considering future directions that statistics education might take. Another goal … is to help JSE readers recognize what dedicated, wise, humble, often quite humorous, and generally terrific people have shaped this discipline.”

JSE is an international refereed open-access journal published by Taylor & Francis for the American Statistical Association, the world’s largest community of statisticians and the nation’s second-oldest continuously operating professional association of any field.

In addition to the 11-page interview, Lesser has published 11 articles in JSE since arriving at UTEP in 2004 and also has served six years as a JSE associate editor.

This interview’s release comes at a busy time for Lesser, who also holds the UTEP title of Distinguished Teaching Professor. He continues to offer virtual conference presentations and to work on his latest National Science Foundation grant that involves interactive statistics songs, on a book chapter on how English learners study statistics, and on his statistics poetry recently published in Radical Statistics and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

One of those poems will be part of a UTEP exhibit that will open in August 2020, “One Year Stronger: Remembering 8/3,” a commemoration of the mass shooting in El Paso on Aug. 3, 2019.

Author:  Daniel Perez – UTEP Communications