Bovas Abraham, Honorary Member 2013
A 2013 recipient of the Honorary Membership of the Statistical Society of Canada is Professor Bovas Abraham. This award is intended to honour an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the development of the statistical sciences in Canada and whose work has had a major impact in this country.
Bovas Abraham is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo. He was born in June 1942 in Kerala, South India, where he attended school in the village of Kariamplave, Ranni, where his parents still reside. He attended the University of Kerala when this state installed the world’s first elected communist government. He has two brothers and a sister, and two wonderful daughters, Linzy and Linn and boasts that his wife, Annamma, is an exquisite cook and a creative quilter.
After graduation, he taught in a college in Kerala and refined his teaching skills in Cape Coast, Ghana, preparing students for the A-Level examinations of the University of London. By coincidence, while he was in Ghana, a coup overthrowing the government of Nkrumah occurred. Bovas continues to deny any involvement. A happier coup occurred in the same period when he married Annamma in 1967 while on vacation in Kerala.
Bovas obtained his MSc from the University of Guelph in 1971 and his PhD in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, under the supervision of George Box. After spending two years at Dalhousie University he moved to Waterloo. He has been a faculty member at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science since 1977.
Professor Abraham has devoted his considerable talent and energy to the statistical sciences in many different capacities. He is a former President of the SSC and the founding president of the Business and Industrial Statistics Section of the SSC as well as the founding president of the International Society for Business and Industrial Statistics. He was the Director of the Institute for Improvement in Quality and Productivity at the University of Waterloo for nearly ten years. He has been involved in graduate training, teaching courses and supervising Masters and PhD students since 1977. He has published extensively in time series analysis, quality improvement, and the management and implementation of statistical procedures such as designed experiments, SPC and is co-author of the popular books, Statistical Methods for Forecasting, and Introduction to Regression Modeling. He has also acted as an educator and consultant in a wide range of statistical applications in industry in Canada, Latin America, India, and the United States.
Bovas is also a recipient of many other awards. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute. In addition, he holds the Service Award from the International Statistical Institute (2007) and the William G. Hunter award from the Statistics Division of the American Society for Quality (2006).
The citation for the award reads:
“To Bovas Abraham, for his fundamental contributions to the statistical sciences, advances in time series analysis, statistical methods for quality improvement, and industrial statistics, for dissemination of statistical methodology through authorship of textbooks, and for his service as founding president of the Business and Industrial Statistics Section and President of the Statistical Society of Canada.”