Final Goodbye to Dr. James Thompson


Our deepest sympathy
to Dr. Ewa Thompson and the family

Dr. James (Jim) Thompson

who passed away on
December 4, 2017 at age 79.


He will be missed
by his family, friends
and Polish community
in Houston.



The funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, 1731 Blalock Road, Houston, Texas 77080, on Saturday, December 9 at 1:00 PM, followed by family and friends gathering at Polonia Restaurant located at 1780 Blalock Road.

In lieu of flowers the family recommends donation to the James R. Thompson Distinguished Lectureship in Statistics; contact for more information. 


From Rice University announcement:

Professor Thompson graduated from Memphis High and from Vanderbilt University, having received the Founder’s Medal as first in his class.  In 1966 he received the doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University. He accepted a job offer from Vanderbilt University where he taught mathematics and statistics; he and his wife Ewa then moved to Indiana where they taught at Indiana University. In 1970 Professor Thompson came to Rice and in 1977 he became full professor in Mathematical Sciences. He founded the Department of Statistics in 1987 and subsequently wrote fourteen scholarly books on leading statistical topics. 

Professor Thompson is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the International Statistical Institute, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He received the Army Wilks Award for his work on defense-related data analysis and modeling, and the ASA’s Don Owen Award for his international work in statistical process control. Jim made pioneering contributions to the understanding of Statistical Model Building, Biomathematics, Quality Control, and Computational Finance. He has done groundbreaking research on AIDS. He holds a patent for the computer intensive Simugram algorithm for portfolio selection. Shortly before his passing he was honored by a Festschrift to commemorate his retirement from teaching. 

Professor Thompson advised 17 doctoral students and maintained close collaboration with many alumni of the Department of Statistics. He developed many statistics methods and courses which emphasized a simulation-based solution to ill-posed problems that do not admit closed-form solutions. He will be sorely missed. 

Read Rice University story