UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Donald Richards has been selected to receive the title of distinguished professor of statistics in recognition of his exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President at Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.

Richards’ research interests include multivariate statistical analysis, reliability theory, combinatorics, probability inequalities, representation theory, harmonic analysis, and special functions. He applies these methods to topics in astronomy and astrophysics, finance, actuarial science, and medical imaging.

Richards was elected in 1998 a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and was elected in 2012 a member of the inaugural class of fellows of the American Mathematical Society. He is currently an associate editor of the Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, the Journal of the American Statistical Association, and Statistics and Probability Letters. He has served as a member of the Board on Mathematical Sciences, as chair of the Board of Governors of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, on National Science Foundation review panels, and as a member of the U.S. delegation to the 1994 International Mathematical Union.

Richards has published numerous papers on the special functions of matrix argument, harmonic analysis, multivariate statistical analysis, probability inequalities, and applied probability. He was editor of the conference proceedings, Hypergeometric Functions on Domains of Positivity, Jack Polynomials, and Applications, 1992, and co-editor of Representation Theory and Harmonic Analysis: A Conference in Honor of R. A. Kunze (with T. Ton-That, K. I. Gross, and P. J. Sally, Jr.), 1995, both published by the American Mathematical Society.

Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 2002, Richards held positions at the University of the West Indies, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Virginia, with visiting positions at the University of Wyoming, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Heidelberg. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1976 and a doctoral degree in statistics in 1978 at the University of the West Indies.