Professional News

UK Statistics’ Pittard Receives Award From ASA

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 12, 2018) — Melissa Pittard, a senior lecturer in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Statistics, has received an award from the American Statistical Association. The Best Speed Session Award, which was given out as part of the 2017 Joint Statistical Meeting Conference, was given to Pittard for her presentation on statistics education. More than 480 presenters participated in the speed sessions.

"I am quite honored to win the award and was rather surprised," said Pittard, who received her doctoral degree from UK in 1999. "The other presentations were excellent. I usually just joke that I am really good at talking fast. 

”The topic of my presentation was using video presentations to assess student learning in large lectures. Students were required to submit a video presentation of a problem as part of their exam. These presentations were to be given as if they were presenting the problem to the class. The grading rubric included points for correctness of the solution, reasonable eye contact, a sufficient amount of detail, satisfactory sound quality and the video being within the time limit." 

An interview with Pittard about her presentation is available at

"Melissa has great ideas regarding statistics education — in this case it was students submitting a video instead of a written solution to a problem," said Arnold Stromberg, professor and chair of UK Statistics. "It’s wonderful to see her nationally recognized."