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William Harkness Honored with C.I. Noll Award

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William Harkness Honored with C.I. Noll Award

William Harkness

9 April 2010

William Harkness, professor emeritus of statistics at Penn State, is a 2009 recipient of the C.I. Noll Award.  Sponsored by the Alumni Society of the Eberly College of Science at Penn State University, this award recognizes faculty members who have taken a special interest in students and who have had a positive impact through their interaction with them.  Instituted in 1972 and named in honor of Clarence I. Noll, dean of the college from 1965 to 1971, the award is the highest honor for undergraduate teaching in the college.  Winners are chosen by a committee of students and faculty members from nominees suggested by students, faculty members, and alumni.

Harkness has been a statistics professor at Penn State for 51 years, and has dedicated much of the last 23 years to improving statistical education at the University and beyond.  He served as a co-principal investigator on a $200,000 grant from the Pew Foundation's Learning and Technology Program, sponsored by the Center for Academic Transformation, to redesign Penn State's course titled "Introduction to Statistics."  He also was a co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant to transform biological and engineering statistics at Penn State.  Harkness has collaborated extensively with researchers on instructional design in curriculum and instruction for statistical education.  In August 2004, he gave both the keynote and closing addresses at the annual conference titled "Beyond the Formulas," devoted to the teaching of statistics.

Harkness joined the Penn State Department of Mathematics in 1959.  He became a member of the faculty of the Department of Statistics at its inception in 1968 and served as its department head from 1969 to 1987.  He has continued to teach elementary statistics since becoming professor emeritus in 2002.  Among his many awards and honors, Harkness has received the Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Online Cost Effectiveness, the Schreyer Institute for Innovation in Learning Award for Best Departmental Educational Project in Reforming Courses, and the Eberly College of Science Distinguished Service Award.  Most recently, Harkness was awarded the Carver Medal by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) in recognition of his years of distinguished service as program secretary and various IMS committees.  He received his doctoral degree in statistics and his master's and bachelor's degrees in mathematics from Michigan State University in 1959, 1956, and 1955, respectively.

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