Dayanand N. Naik, who was a Professor of Statistics at Old Dominion University in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, passed away on Friday, October 26, 2012, after a three-year battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife, Sujatha, and his two sons, Naveen, 16, and Rishi, 10, in Virginia Beach, VA.
Dayanand was born on January 1, 1952 in Hillur, a small village in the state of Karnataka, India, to a family of hard-working farmers who owned a small plot of land. His parents were very particular about the education of their children, and since Dayanand was an exceptional student, they were determined to send him to college. Upon completing his MS in Statistics at Karnataka University, he served as a lecturer at Karnataka College for a year and then moved to the Indian Statistical Institute to work on his PhD. At the suggestion of Prof. S. Rao Jammalamadaka, he transferred to the University of Pittsburgh to obtain his PhD under Prof. C. R. Rao, completing it in 1985. Afterward, he joined Old Dominion University as a faculty member and remained there throughout his academic career.
Dayanand was an active researcher working in the areas of linear models, multivariate analysis, and statistical inference. He comfortably switched back and forth between the theoretical and applied research of these areas. He wrote many influential articles on detection of outliers, random effect models, growth curve models, repeated measures and longitudinal data, familial correlations, and graphical methods—especially those related to correspondence analysis. Many of these articles have been widely referred to in many published textbooks. Two applied textbooks on multivariate analysis, which he coauthored with R. Khattree and were published in 1995 and 2000, are still regarded as important references for applied researchers. In addition, in 2008, he co-edited a book volume titled Computational Methods for Biomedical Research with R. Khattree that contains the novel research work useful for biomedical researchers. At Old Dominion University, he had advised more than ten students on their PhD dissertations on a variety of topics.
Dayanand, an IMS member, was a fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He was an active member of both organizations, serving on in many committees in various capacities. He was also a very active member of the Virginia Academy of Sciences.
We will miss his outstanding research efforts, his valuable mentorship, and his incredibly caring and kind soul. As we mourn his loss, we are reminded of what Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 6, Verse 30), which is translated: “One who sees me in everything and everything in me, to him I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to me.”
If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution in memory of Dr. Naik, please contact Ms. Michele Catalano, Development Officer for the College of Sciences at Old Dominion University, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (757) 683-5552.
N. Rao Chaganty, Old Dominion University, and Ravi Khattree, Oakland University