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David Draper recognized for excellence in teaching

David Draper, professor of statistics at the UC Santa Cruz Baskin School of Engineering, has received a 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award. Draper was one of eight instructors selected from 335 student nominations. The annual award recognizes instructors who have demonstrated exemplary and inspiring teaching. 

The Academic Senate Committee on Teaching (COT), when choosing the finalists from the student nominations, noted the nominations for Draper were inspiring to read. This is Draper’s second Excellence in Teaching Award, following his 2007 award.

David Draper, professor of statistics
David Draper, professor of statistics

“It’s thrilling to be recognized in this way by the students and by the members of COT,” Draper said. “I’m all about the success of my students in achieving the learning outcomes of the courses I teach, and—by mixing ideas from the history and philosophy of probability and statistics with key mathematical concepts and statistical computing methods for data visualization and other insights—I hope to inspire interest in the increasingly important field of statistical data science.”

Draper joined the Baskin School of Engineering in 2001, where he was the founding chair of the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department for six years. His research spans Bayesian statistics and nonparametric methods, hierarchical modeling, model specification and model uncertainty, quality assessment, and risk assessment with statistical applications in the environmental, medical, and social sciences.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the Royal Statistical Society, and a former president of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis. 

The seven instructors who have also received 2022 UC Santa Cruz Excellence in Teaching Awards are: Kyle Robertson, philosophy lecturer and assistant director for the Center for Public Philosophy; micha cárdenas, arts, games and playable media assistant professor; Peter Weiss, chemistry and biochemistry lecturer and associate researcher; Elena Finkbeiner, assistant professor of sociology; Gina Ulysse, feminist studies professor; Brenda Sanfilippo, literature lecturer; and Daniel Wirls, politics professor. 

An award ceremony and reception will be held at the Cowell Provost House on Friday, June 3.