Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Marty Goolsby ()
Communications and External Relations


Tommy Wright elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 30, 1995 — Dr. Tommy Wright, a researcher in the Mathematical Sciences Section of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA).

Dr. Wright received a master's and a doctorate degree in statistics from The Ohio State University. He received a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Knoxville College. Dr. Wright is an adjunct associate professor at UT and Knoxville College.

The designation of fellow is reserved for professionals in statistics who make outstanding contributions to the field. ASA members work in government, industry and academia applying statistics in medical, biological, physical, economic and social sciences.

Dr. Wright received the honor "for innovative contributions to the practice and theory of probability sampling methods." As a researcher at ORNL, Dr. Wright designs and develops ways to interpret data from samples. His research has focused on developing new, simple, exact methods as replacements for some commonly used approximations which are inappropriate. He has designed several sample surveys at the Oak Ridge facilities and has been on research teams sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Energy, Defense and Transportation; the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also has contributed to several projects with state and private organizations.

Dr. Wright also serves as a research fellow of the U. S. Bureau of the Census where he is pursuing research for ways to use sampling methods to improve the population count in the census scheduled for the year 2000.

"Whether you are examining marbles in a bowl or fish in a lake, a carefully selected and analyzed sample from the group is often sufficient to learn about the composition of the entire group" Wright said. "Probability theory helps us determine the success of the sampling methodology."

Dr. Wright, a native of Birmingham, Ala., now lives in West Knox County with his wife, Marsha C. Wright. They are the parents of Taunya, 22; Tommy II, 16; and Tracy, 15.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, which also manages the Oak Ridge K-25 Site and the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant.