Former Vice Provost and renowned statistician dies at home

Photo Courtesy of UTD



John Wiorkowski, retired Vice Provost and Professor Emeritus in UTD’s School of Management, died at his home on Feb. 6 at the age of 80 in Corinth, Texas.

A distinguished professor of statistics, Wiorkowski served as the Vice Provost from 2001 until his retirement in 2018. At the same time, he was a professor in Operations Management and returned as a professor emeritus focusing on statistics from 2020 to 2021.

A proud Polish American from Chicago, Wiorkowski attended The University of Chicago, where he received his bachelor’s in 1965 and his master’s in 1966. Wiorkowski then moved to Texas as an assistant professor of Quantitative Methods in the Army/Baylor Graduate Program in Health Care Administration. He also served as a captain in the United States Army from 1968 to 1971, where he earned an Army Commendation Medal. He then returned to the University of Chicago to finish his Ph.D. in Statistics in 1972.

While Wiorkowski spent his time as an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University from 1973 to 1974, he eventually found his way back to Texas in 1975 as an associate professor of statistics at UTD, where he stayed for the remainder of his life.

In 1982, Wiorkowski was promoted to a full-time professor of statistics while concurrently serving as a fellow on the American Council of Education and an assistant for policy, planning and analysis to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1984, he was promoted to assistant vice president for academic affairs before becoming the associate provost in 1991 and the concurrent appointment for program head in 1996.

During his tenure at UTD, Wiorkowski contributed 33 publications to statistical literature, with key activity in biostatistics and computer science. Most notably, he was an editor for Marketing Science, the Journal of the American Statistical Association, SCIENCE and Annals of Statistics.

Wiorkowski was a major supporter of the American Statistical Association, serving as the Dallas President from 1978 to 1979 and as a national committee chair on chapter activities from 1980 to 1981. He was also known for his time at the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the National Academy of Sciences and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce.

During his career, Workowski’s reputation and expertise led to him to consult with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Administration, American Airlines and Texas Instruments.

In his spare time, Wiorkowski liked to swim laps and play squash with his peers at the Activity Center. Beyond his love for statistics and politics, he was known for his love of music – specifically classical music, Vangelis new wave and opera.

Wiorkowski’s family gathered on Feb. 21 at the Ted Dickey Funeral Home in Plano. The funeral service began at noon with the burial following at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery.



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