Statistician, educator, author, and editor
"Ask somebody on the street what the word reliability means, or what safety or quality means and you will get a great amorphous reply of definitions and answers," J. Stuart Hunter said in 1971. "But there are specific definitions to words like reliability and it’s in the effort to quantize and make specific these general ideas that real progress is made."
Hunter, who was named an Honorary member in 1998, through his work as an educator and author helped enhance quantitative understanding on the part of people in industry and ensure the course of progress.
Born in 1923 in Holyoke, MA, Hunter is professor emeritus at Princeton University's School of Engineering and Applied Science. He had served as staff statistician for American Cyanamid Co. and as a member of the Mathematics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin before joining Princeton as an associate professor of chemical engineering and subsequently becoming a professor of engineering.
In 1947, Hunter received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. Two years later he earned a master's degree in engineering mathematics and in 1954 he earned his doctorate in experimental statistics from the same institution.
Over the years, Hunter has published numerous books, papers, and technical reports. His major areas of concentration include industrial applications of statistics, the fractional factorial, and response surface experimental design.
Hunter co-authored Statistics for Experimenters with George E.P. Box (another ASQ Honorary member) and W.G. Hunter. He is the author of the textbooks Design of Experiments and Statistics for Problem Solving and Decision Making designed for use in conjunction with his television series.
Hunter is the founding editor of Technometrics, the quarterly journal co-published by ASQ and the American Statistical Association. Hunter served as president of the American Statistical Association in 1993.
Hunter taught courses on evolutionary operation, factorial and fractional factorial design, and response surface methodology for ASQ's Chemical and Process Industries Division, as well as the American Statistical Association’s Section on Physical and Engineering Services.
International Exposure and Honors
Hunter has lectured broadly, notably at the Korean Standards Institute and the National Center for Industrial Science and Technology Management Development in Dalian, China.
A fellow of ASQ, the American Statistical Association, the Royal Statistical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Hunter is a member of the American Society for Testing Materials, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Institute of Mathematical Science, the Biometrics Society, and the Environometrics Society, of which he was a founding member.
Hunter received ASQ’s Brumbaugh Award in 1959 and 1985 and Shewhart Medal in 1970. He also received the Ellis Ott Award in 1978 and the Metropolitan Section’s Deming Medal in 1986. In addition, he is a recipient of the U.S. Army’s S.S. Wilks Medal. The Environometrics Society established the J. Stuart Hunter Annual Lecture in his honor.
Hunter’s Shewhart Medal citation recognizes his "outstanding contributions in the development and application of statistical techniques for engineering and industrial needs and his inspiring leadership in applying these technologies to quality control." In his Shewhart Medal speech, Hunter said, "The rational man who solves problems has to be an articulate man. He has to be able to use the English language well, but he also has to be a quantitative beast if he is going to solve his problem." Surely the rational and articulate Hunter is just such a quantitative beast.