Menu Close

Ronald D. Fricker Jr.

Professor of Statistics and Interim Dean, College of Science, Virginia Tech

Ronald D. Fricker, Jr. is a Professor of Statistics and the Interim Dean of the Virginia Tech College of Science. He is a former head of the Virginia Tech Department of Statistics. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he was a faculty member in the Operations Research Department of the Naval Postgraduate School and, prior to that, a Senior Statistician at the RAND Corporation and the Associate Director of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD), a division within the RAND Corporation responsible for conducting research and analysis on complex national defense policy and strategy problems.

Dr. Fricker’s research is focused on studying the performance of various statistical methods for use in disease surveillance and statistical process control methodologies more generally. His previous work has included warfare modeling, surveying via the Internet, logistics performance evaluation, environmental issues and analyses, and quality control. Particular past efforts include evaluating new recruiting strategies for the United States military, evaluating personnel recruiting and retention of U.S. Army Special Forces, researching Federal support to state and local organizations for domestic terrorism preparedness, and investigating the use of pesticides by U.S. forces during the Gulf War.

Dr. Fricker is the recipient of multiple teaching awards and author of more than 100 papers, monographs, technical reports, and articles. He is the author of Introduction to Statistical Methods for Biosurveillance published by Cambridge University Press and co-author with Dr. Steve Rigdon of Monitoring the Health of Populations by Tracking Disease Outbreaks and Epidemics: Saving Humanity from the Next Plague published by the American Statistical Association and CRC Press.

Dr. Fricker holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Statistics from Yale University, an M.S. in Operations Research from The George Washington University, and a bachelor's degree from the United States Naval Academy. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, he served as a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy. Dr. Fricker is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), and an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute.


  • 2021–present
    Interim Dean and Professor of Statistics, Virginia Tech
  • 2019–2020
    Associate Dean and Professor of Statistics, Virginia Tech
  • 2015–2019
    Professor and Head, Department of Statistics, Virginia Tech


  • 1997 
    Yale University, Ph.D. / Statistics


Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Statistical Association