Volume 12 No. 1 SPRING 2011

In Memoriam: Former Smith Professor Sam Kotz

Samuel KotzSamuel Kotz, a former Smith School professor of statistics, passed away at the age of 79 on March 16, 2010. Kotz was a world-renowned statistician, an award-winning scholar and the author of numerous ground-breaking books, including the first Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences. His colleagues remember Kotz’s strong work ethic and intense love for his family, his religion and his studies.

“Sam was Orthodox Jewish and he didn’t want to drive – he was doing everybody a favor by not driving – so he took the bus to and from campus,” says Frank Alt, associate professor of management science and statistics. “He’d leave in late afternoon because he had to be home before the Sabbath on weekends. But once he got here in his office, his door was open to interact with students and faculty who had questions.”

While at the Smith School, Kotz taught a calculus-based statistics class and a regression analysis class. He was honored by the University of Maryland as a distinguished scholar. He retired from the University of Maryland and went to work at George Washington University in 1997 as a professor and research scholar in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering.

Kotz is survived by his wife Raysal Kotz; his children Tamar Kotz, H. David Kotz and Pnina Levinson; and his nine grandchildren. -JB

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