Mathematics student wins national research award

Jennifer Niemann, an undergraduate student in the Marshall University Department of Mathematics, has received a national research award sponsored by the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE).

Niemann, a 23-year old statistics and economics student from Huntington, was recognized for her work on statistical modeling of environmental data with non-detects, which investigates several methods for analyzing data known to be below detection limit of a measuring device. Niemann said she was pleasantly surprised to discover she had won an award for her research.

"After months of research and dedication to the project, the award made me realize that my hard work had paid off, which was a very rewarding realization," Niemann said. "It is still being debated which method produces the most accurate results when dealing with non-detects, so this paper explores various methods—such as substitution, maximum likelihood estimation, and the Kaplan-Meier method—in an attempt to determine the best method for analysis."

Niemann said she would have never gained the knowledge she has now if it weren’t for the faculty in the university’s Department of Mathematics.

"The faculty support in our department is really exceptional. I started out just working towards a minor in math, but was encouraged to extend that minor to a major, and then I decided on a statistics major," Niemann said. "I am now planning to continue my education in biostatistics, and this would not be happening without the support of Marshall’s math department."

Dr. Avi Mallick, assistant professor of statistics in the department, said Niemann is the perfect example of a talented, diligent and hardworking student.

"The best thing about Jennifer is that she is always looking for ways to improve herself. She is both intelligent and methodical, which a great combination in a young researcher," Mallick said. "Keeping in mind Marshall’s goal towards achieving research excellence, the effort needed to receive this kind of national level research award should be acknowledged and recognized. I hope this motivates other students to get more involved in to research."

To learn more about Niemann’s award, visit For more information on research activities in the Department of Mathematics, visit