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Luke Tierney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Luke Tierney is an American statistician and computer scientist. A fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics since 1988 and of the American Statistical Association since 1991, Tierney is currently a professor of statistics at the University of Iowa.[1] Through his past work on programming languages such as R and Lisp, Tierney now holds a position on the developing team known as the R Core.[2]


Tierney earned his BA and MA in mathematical sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1977 and later his PhD in operations research from Cornell University in 1980.[1] Formerly a statistics faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Minnesota,[3] he now serves as the Ralph E. Wareham Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Iowa, a position he has held since 2002.[1]


In 1990, Tierney wrote the XLispStat package using C and Lisp[3] and has since published works such as LISP-STAT: An Object-Oriented Environment for Statistical Computing and Dynamic Graphics (Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics) describing its design and use.[4]

Tierney has also made contributions in areas such as reference counting, vectors, and compilation for the R programming language and environment.[1] During his time working with R, he has also become part of the R Core, a team of developers with write access to the R source. His work on Markov chains, Bioconductor, Lisp-stat and the Metropolis–Hastings algorithm have all been highly cited.

Positions, awards and recognition[edit]

  • Current member of the R Core Team
  • Former editor of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics from 2004 to 2006[3]
  • American Statistical Association
    • Fellow since 1991
    • Recipient of the 2019 Statistical Computing and Graphics Award[3]
  • Institute of Mathematical Statistics
    • Fellow since 1988
    • Former elected council member from 1995 to 1998[5]
  • University of Iowa
    • Ralph E. Wareham Professor since 2002
    • Former chair of the statistics department from 2004 to 2014[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Luke Tierney". University of Iowa. March 8, 2021.
  2. ^ "Contributors". R Project.
  3. ^ a b c d e "People News February 2019". Amstat News. February 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Tierney, Luke. "Lisp-Stat Information". University of Iowa.
  5. ^ "Past Elected Council Members". Institute of Mathematical Statistics. 2021.