The award recognizes those who have made notable contributions to the motivation and encouragement of research through education. Wu will be honored at an in-person symposium on Nov. 11, 2021.


Jeff Wu, Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), has been honored with Sigma Xi’s Monie A. Ferst Award. This national-level award, sponsored by Georgia Tech’s Sigma Xi chapter, recognizes those who have made "notable contributions to the motivation and encouragement of research through education." Wu joins just a handful of Institute faculty members who have been so recognized since the award’s inception in 1977.

Wu’s dedication to educating future researchers can be seen throughout his distinguished academic career. He has supervised 49 doctoral students, 35 of whom are teaching in major research departments or institutions in statistics, engineering, and business around the globe.

In their award nomination letter, ISyE School Chair Edwin Romeijn, A. Russell Chandler III Professor Roshan Joseph, and Associate Professor Enlu Zhou noted that "[Dr. Wu is considered a visionary in statistics, which is exemplified by his famous 1997 lecture 'Statistics=Data Science?' a term now embraced by people all over the world. ... Dr. Wu has influenced multiple generations of researchers and students through his devoted teaching and mentoring. … More than 1,800 papers are published by his students to date without Dr. Wu being a co-author. Four of his former students have become editors of Technometrics and Journal of Quality Technology, two of the most prominent journals in engineering statistics. His students would agree on one thing: Dr. Wu is more than a research advisor. He remains in their lives as a mentor, friend, and guide even after graduation.”

The Monie A. Ferst Award is not the only prestigious honor Wu has received this spring. He has also been given the Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award, the highest honor Georgia Tech can bestow on a faculty member. These two awards are the latest in a long line of accolades for Wu, which include his 2004 election to the National Academy of Engineering as the first academic statistician so chosen. In addition, Wu has won almost all awards given in the field of engineering statistics, including the ENBIS Box Medal and Shewhart Medal.

“This award came as a pleasant surprise and gives me consolation during this difficult time,” said Wu. “Educating and mentoring students is like polishing diamonds – it takes patience and effort, and the whole process is inspiring and rewarding.”

On November, 11, 2021, Wu will be honored for this achievement with an in-person symposium. The proceedings will begin with a continental breakfast, followed by four sessions of 30-minute presentations by colleagues and friends of Wu, and an evening banquet that will wrap up the event. The list of presenters is as follows:

  • Xinwei Deng (Virginia Tech)
  • Derek Bingham (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
  • Jing Li (Georgia Tech)
  • Devon Lin (Queen's University, Canada)
  • Simon Mak (Duke University)
  • Matt Plumlee (Northwestern University)
  • Arman Sabaghi (Purdue University)
  • Rui Tuo (Texas A&M University)
  • Yao Xie (Georgia Tech)
  • Shifeng Xiong (Chinese Academy of Science)

About the Monie A. Ferst Award

The Monie A. Ferst Award is named eponymously for the engineer and businessman who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1911 and helped found the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The award comes with a medal and $10,000. In addition, a day-long symposium is held to showcase the achievements of the winner’s former students.

About Sigma Xi

Founded at Cornell University in 1886, Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society, is the international honor society of science and engineering. One of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world, Sigma Xi has a distinguished history of service to science and society. It has nearly 60,000 members in over 500 chapters around the world.