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2004 Distinguished Alumnus: J. Stuart Hunter

J. Stuart “Stu” Hunter was recently named the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

Hunter served in the Philippines as a member of the US Armed Services during WWII. He later received his BS in Electrical Engineering and his MS in Engineering Mathematics in 1949 from NC State. Then in 1954 – 50 years ago – he received his PhD in Experimental Statistics.

He joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1962 and is now Professor Emeritus, School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Stu’s record of achievements clearly reveals the tremendous impact he has had on the field of statistics,” said Dean Daniel Solomon, himself a statistician. “He is perhaps most highly regarded as a leader in promoting the transfer of good statistical practice, notably the design of experiments and the tools of quality – from the textbook to the manufacturing floor – with dramatic impact on American industry and beyond. We are truly proud to add Stu to our list of Distinguished Alumnus award recipients.”

Hunter was honored at a dinner hosted by the College, and recognized at the university-wide Alumni Association’s Night of Stars awards gala. Several friends from his college days were able to attend and share in the festivities.

Hunter has published extensively, his major areas of concentration being the statistical design of experiments and industrial quality control.

He is the founding editor of Technometrics, a journal co-sponsored by the AmericanStatistical Association (ASA) and the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

He has been a staff member of the National Academy of Science Committee on National Statistics, and chairman of the Advisory Board, Applied Mathematics, National Bureau of Standards. He has served as chairman of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies, and of the Gordon Research Conference on Statistics in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Hunter is an emeritus editor of the John Wiley series on Probability and Statistics and a past member of the Technical Advisory Board of the US Golf Association. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Environmetrics Society since its inception in 1989.

While at Princeton he was acknowledged as an outstanding lecturer. He also taught extensively outside of academia. In the 1960-70’s his many industrial short courses earned him the nickname of “Johnny Appleseed” of industrial experimental design. He was the instructor in two TV continuing education programs produced by Westinghouse Learning.

He also lectured abroad, most notably at the Korean Standards Research Institute, the National Center for Industrial Science in China and at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore.

He is the co-author with I. Guttman and S. S. Wilks of the text Introductory Engineering Statistics and also a co-author with G. E. P. Box and W. G. Hunter of the book Statistics for Experimenters, first published in 1978 and now in its 34th reprinting. A second edition of this popular text is scheduled to appear in the Spring of 2005.

Hunter has received many honors. He was President of the ASA in 1993 and in 1995 received the Association’s highest honor, The Founder’s Award.

He is a fellow of the ASA, ASQ, the Royal Statistical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received the S. S. Wilks Medal: U. S. Army; Outstanding Statistician of the Year Award, the Deming Medal, the Shewhart Medal, the Ellis Ott Award and the Braumbaugh Award of the ASQ. He is an honorary member of the American Society for Quality and a member of the Cosmos Club.

At 81, Hunter still continues as an active consultant to industry and government. He and his wife, Edna, reside in Hightstown, New Jersey.