Linda Young, Ph.D.
2018 Hall of Fame
Ph.D. Statistics '81
By the time Linda J. Young completed her statistics Ph.D. at OSU in 1981, she had built the foundation for a career in research at the interface of statistics and the sciences, particularly the agricultural sciences.
For over a quarter century, Young served on the faculty of land-grant universities, first at OSU, then at the University of Nebraska and finally at the University of Florida. At each institution she collaborated with agricultural and other scientists on the issues challenging agriculture practice and productivity – control of major pests, such as tobacco bollworms and budworms, in Oklahoma cotton; use of new management practices to limit lepidopteran resistance to Bt-corn in Nebraska; and early identification of citrus greening, a disease decimating the citrus industry in Florida. These three examples – and their potential economic impacts on agriculture in those states – highlight the importance of the problems to which Young has brought statistical thinking, experiment design, and data analysis and interpretation.
Young has increasingly assumed leadership roles within the statistics-science interface and within the broader professional statistics community. She has authored or co-authored three books on statistical methodology. She has more than 100 publications in over 50 different journals, a mixture of statistics and subject-matter journals. She has served as Editor of the Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics. Young has held a broad range of offices within the professional statistical societies, including President of the Eastern North American Region of the International Biometric Society, Vice-President of the American Statistical Association, Chair of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies, member of the National Institute of Statistical Science’s Board of Directors, and member of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute’s Governing Board. Young is a fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.
In 2013, Young became Mathematical Statistician and Director of Research and Development for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). In this position, she works to continually improve the methodology underpinning NASS collection and dissemination of data on every facet of U.S agriculture and to lead the NASS researchers in formulating, solving and implementing statistical research that furthers this aim.
With her husband, Jerry H. Young – an OSU alumnus and retired faculty member – Young raised three children: John, Shamar and RaQwin. All are avid OSU supporters.