Ryan Award-Celebration of Education - Carnegie Mellon University

The William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award for Meritorious Teaching

2015 Ryan Award Recipient

Rebecca Nugent headshotRebecca Nugent

Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Statistics

Rebecca Nugent is an associate teaching professor and co-director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Washington, her master's in statistics from Stanford University and her bachelor's degree with majors in mathematics, statistics and Spanish from Rice University. Her research interests include high-dimensional clustering and classification, educational data mining, record linkage methodology, and statistical graphics and visualization. Nugent was recently selected as the 2015 Statistician of the Year by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Statistical Association. She also oversees undergraduate research in statistics including the Honors Thesis Program and the educational components of multiple NSF departmental training grants. She is an academic advisor for the economics-statistics major and recently co-developed three new statistics majors/tracks, including the new joint major in statistics & machine learning. Nugent teaches a wide variety of statistical methodology classes at Carnegie Mellon but is probably most famous for forcing everyone to rewrite their data analysis reports several times. When not in her office or the classroom extolling the virtues of taking more statistics, she can be found on the athletic fields coaching the Carnegie Mellon Women's Ultimate Frisbee team.
The William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award for Meritorious Teaching is given annually to a full-time faculty member at Carnegie Mellon who has demonstrated unusual devotion and effectiveness in teaching undergraduate or graduate students.

The award is intended to recognize excellence in teaching in several dimensions:

  • outstanding classroom teaching
  • creation of challenging and innovative courses
  • creation or use of new and innovative teaching methods and course materials
  • effective supervision of research or creative projects
  • effective supervision of undergraduate honors students and graduate students