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Douglas C. Montgomery Distinguished Lecture Series

Douglas C. Montgomery Distinguished Lecture Series

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A male Passerini’s tanager, Ramphocelus passerinii, eats the fruit of Piper sancti-felicis. Photo by Bernadette Wynter Rigley.

Department of Statistics & Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

ANnual lecture series

Upcoming Lecture

Dr. Christine M. Anderson-Cook

Guest Scientist, Statistical Sciences Group
Los Alamos National Laboratory


Is Designed Data Collection Still Relevant in the Big Data Era?

Presented Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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Christine Anderson-Cook

Throughout my 30-year career, there have been calls that design of experiments is a solved problem and that there are no new interesting problems to consider. With the increasing prevalence of big data in business, industry, science and engineering applications, the appreciation for the value of data for solving problems and making decisions has never been greater. The urge for making data-driven decisions using big data might have overshadowed the insights brought by carefully collected small data. Does this mean that big data replaces the need for intentionally designed experiments? Or is there a bigger role for design of experiments to play in the era of big data?

In this talk, I present several scenarios that highlight how strategic data collection using designed experiments can guide the choice of big data and better leverage that which has been learned from its analysis. Design of experiments coupled with big data have the power to amplify both their individual impacts. Using several projects from my work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, I demonstrate how new methods and innovative uses of existing designed experiments have facilitated better solutions to complex problems. The new era of big data challenges us to adapt our methodologies to better meet project needs with our data, while carefully managing limited resources.


Christine M. Anderson-Cook recently retired from working as a Research Scientist in the Statistical Sciences Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She was a contributor to more than 80 projects while at LANL and has led projects in the areas of nuclear non-proliferation, sequential design of experiments for carbon capture, cybersecurity, complex system reliability and using data competitions to advance algorithms for detecting radioactive materials. Before joining LANL, she was a faculty member in the Department of Statistics at Virginia Tech from 1996 to 2004. Her research areas include design of experiments, response surface methodology, graphical methods, reliability, multiple criterion optimization and data-centric decision-making.

She is a Fellow of the American Statistics Association and the American Society for Quality. She has authored more than 240 publications in statistics, engineering and interdisciplinary journals, and is co-author with Douglas C. Montgomery and Raymond H. Myers of a leading textbook on Response Surface Methodology. She has served on the Editorial boards of Technometrics, the Journal of Quality Technology, Quality and Reliability Engineering International, Quality Engineering and the Journal of Statistics Education. She is a long time Statistics Spotlight / Roundtable column contributor in ASQ’s Quality Progress. She is the 2021 recipient of the ENBIS George Box Medal and the ASA Quality and Productivity Section Gerald J. Hahn Achievement Award, the 2018 recipient of the ASQ Shewhart Medal and 2012 winner of the ASQ Statistics Division William G. Hunter Award.

Past Lectures

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Is Designed Data Collection Still Relevant in the Big Data Era?

About the series

The Douglas C. Montgomery Distinguished Lecture Series at Virginia Tech is a forum for the exchange of current topics related to industrial statistics and statistical engineering. Generously supported by Douglas C. Montgomery, this annual series is a collaborative effort between the Department of Statistics and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

All talks are free and open to the public.

For more information:

Contact Jenny Orzolek, Senior Director of Major Gifts for Advancement | 540-231-5643