R. Dennis Cook is a professor and director of the School of Statistics at the University of Minnesota, where he manages a world-class program with 300 undergraduate, 70 master’s and 45 doctoral students majoring in statistics. Prior to his current position, he served as chair of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Applied Statistics and director of the Statistical Center.
Perhaps best known for “Cook’s Distance,” a now ubiquitous statistical method, he has written over 225 research articles, two textbooks and two research monographs. He received the 2005 Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies Fisher Lectureship and Award, one of the highest honors conferred by the statistics profession, and is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.
He began his statistics career in high school working after school and summers at an agricultural experiment station until he received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Montana College in 1967. He then attended K-State, receiving his master’s degree in 1969 and doctorate in 1970, both in statistics. He and his wife, Jami, live in the Twin Cities along with their two sons, Jason and Christopher, and four grandchildren.