Jeffrey Birch, professor of statistics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the university community since 1977, Birch made significant contributions to the field and practice of statistics through his work on robust regression, with a particular focus on nonparametric and semi-parametric methods.
He authored or co-authored more than 140 peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, technical reports, proceedings, and reviews, including 54 research papers with students.
In the classroom, Birch taught both undergraduate and graduate courses ranging across the Department of Statistics curriculum. He served on 220 graduate student degree committees, including advising 21 doctoral dissertations.
He helped many students develop successful careers in both academic and industrial settings.
Birch was among only a few faculty members to receive both the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence and the William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence.
In addition, Birch served on the Faculty Senate for three years and chaired the University Athletic Committee for three years. He also served the Department of Statistics as the Director of Graduate Programs for 15 years.
A member of the American Statistical Association, Biometric Society, and Sigma Xi, Birch received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.