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Announcing the 2010 Distinguished Research Professors

Prof. Ronald Schaefer, Distinguished Research Professor of English, has sustained an extraordinarily active record of research since his promotion to professor in 1995. Dr. Schaefer has proved himself as a pioneering researcher and author, bringing national and international recognition to his department. Since promotion, he has published two scholarly books and thirty-two scholarly articles or chapters in journals, conference proceedings, or compilations. His scholarship has appeared in prestigious journals in the United States, Europe, and Africa, and his continued proliferation is shown through current projects, including one book and three articles/chapters submitted for publication and five more articles in preparation. Since tenure, Schaefer has delivered presentations at sixty-nine academic conferences throughout the United States and the world, including Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, India, South Africa, and Nigeria. He has been active as a reviewer and has received three significant awards from the National Science Foundation, one from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and one from the U. S. Department of State.

Professor Schaefer's dossier demonstrates that his research has had a tremendous impact on the field, his students, and the public. External reviewers of his credentials provided unequivocal strong evidence of the high quality of his work. Comments testify that Dr. Schaefer has been a forerunner in the investigation, analysis, and publication of the distinct area of scholarship on the Emai language of Nigeria, and that his work is widely recognized and highly respected. Doris Payne of the University of Oregon writes that "the quality and significance of Prof. Schaefer's research work, and the number of manuscripts he has currently in process ... clearly demonstrate that [this award] is well deserved." "Prof. Schaefer," writes another reviewer, "is a scholar of international standing--one who is recognized and admired by many of his colleagues, not only in the USA but in the same way in Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world, and whose research is of the highest international standards." Indeed, several colleagues noted that Professor Schaefer shows no sign of slowing his productivity. Dr. Schaefer's continuing commitment to research on the Emai language, and his promising new research directions in the analysis and reconstruction of the Benin Empire will continue to bring advances in knowledge within the discipline of linguistics and African culture.

Steven Rigdon, Distinguished Research Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, was promoted to professor in 1996 and has had a significant impact on both the theory and practice of his academic discipline. Dr. Rigdon has published thirty-two journal articles, fifteen of which were published since his promotion to full professor. He is the first of two co-authors of Statistical Methods for the Reliability of Repairable Systems, published by John Wiley and Sons in 2000. Since 1998 Prof. Rigdon has also been the only active co-author in publishing new editions of a classic Prentice-Hall Calculus textbook widely used at colleges and universities across the United States; it has been translated into Spanish, Indonesian, Korean, and Chinese.

In 2009 Prof. Rigdon developed a unique prediction model and a related popular website for the 2008 presidential election, published in his paper "A Bayesian Prediction Model for the U.S. Presidential Election." As noted by one reviewer, Prof. Rigdon is considered "one of the foremost authorities in the world" on the subjects of "the development and application of mathematical and statistical techniques for problems in industrial statistics, specifically quality and reliability engineering.... He is widely respected for his research accomplishments, and has a world-wide reputation." Professor Rigdon's research interests and contributions are broad, including original work in quality control, system reliability, economics, elections, and sports. His articles and books are cited broadly and he has received several awards. As a sign of recognition in his field, Dr. Rigdon has been invited numerous times to serve on review panels, editorial boards, and to professional organizations. He also shows no signs of slowing down, having published two articles this year, and submitted an innovative proposal for research on mathematics and music.

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