Lori A. Thombs

Director, Social Science Statistics Center

Department of Statistics

University of Missouri

I am beginning year 12 as a professor in the Department of Statistics. at the University of Missouri. Before I moved here in August 2003, I was a professor in the Statistics Department at the University of South Carolina. I went to South Carolina in August 1985, immediately after receiving a Ph.D. degree in Statistics from Southern Methodist University.

One of my primary responsibilities here at MU is Directing the Social Science Statistics Center. To find out more about all that we do in the Center, here is the Center's website.

In addition to developing the Center, I am still a regular old professor too. In fact, I really enjoy both the teaching and research part of my job. (The committee work I could live without, check out this cartoon) . I'm now old enough to have students working out there in the real world who keep in touch, and they actually feel like I was important to their education. This is very rewarding.


This semester, Spring 2018, I am teaching the Applied Masters Capstone Course.

Here is the course homepage.


As director of a university-wide consulting center, one of my main activities is to engage in collaborative research. As an interdisciplinary statistician, I have had the opportunity to learn many new topics, such as structural equation modeling, path analysis, latent variable analysis, confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis, panel data analysis, multilevel modeling and cluster analysis.

Throughout my career, I have always been interested in the very broad area of the analysis of dependent data. Currently, I am researching the general topic of multivariate methods for time series data, specifically PCA and cluster analysis. This topic is motivated by my consulting experiences, where I continually observe practitioners using multivariate methods when the assumption of iid data vectors is violated.

I am also interested in new teaching pedagogies -- ones that work. My quest in life is to go to a social event with ``normal'' people and not have one single person tell me that ``statistics was my worst course of my college experience.''

  • If you would like to view my Curriculum Vitae, CLICK Here.

    I Love to Travel

    In 2013 I went to Denmark, pictures coming soon:

    In 2013 I went to Croatia, pics coming soon:

    In 2012 I went to Bali, Indonesia, pics coming soon:

    In 2011, I visited Vancouver, pics soon:

    In 2008 I went to Peru. Here are some pictures:

  • The gang at Machu Picchu, and here we are at Lake Titicaca.
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  • Pic2 pic2
  • Pic3 pic3

    In June 08 I went to Mongolia:

  • The capital city, Ulaanbaatar, and another city picture.
  • Inside and outside of a "Gher."
  • Our group from MU, and the whole gang.

    Summer 2007 I went to Italy. Here are a few pics:

  • Just arrived, first stop is grocery store.
  • Here I am in Milan, Italy.
  • And here is Lori in Turin, Italy.

    I have lots of really famous statistician friends...here are some:

  • Nancy Flournoy, MU
  • Musie Ghebremichael, Harvard University
  • Randy Eubank, Arizona
  • Todd Odgen, Columbia University
  • Yuhlong Lio, Univ. of South Dakota
  • John Hewett, Retired from University of Missouri
  • Tom Carmody, UTHSCD, Friend from SMU
  • Dr. Katti, Retired from University of Missouri

    Life away from work

    When I am out just having fun, I like to hang out with really famous folks. Here I am with Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish. I also enjoy seeing movies, reading and riding my bicycle. Several years ago, I purchased a beautiful Trek OCLV 5000 road bike. The fine piece of machinery is pictured below. (Although you have to visually imagine the bike with brand new fancy Rolf Vector Comp Wheels with red and black Vittoria tires.) Here I am in June 2006 at the beginning and then during the 225 mile long Katy Trail Ride. during the 225 mile long

    Some personal feelings: I cannot stand judgmental people, and I love to laugh. My idea of a wonderful time is being with friends and laughing so hard that my jaw gets sore.

    There's more information below about the exciting life I lead. Click on...

  • Here are several pictures from my July 05 South Dakota trip.

  • My wonderful house.

  • I like cars, especially my vintage 1981 Fiat Pinanfarina.

  • If you would like to see my wonderful pets, CLICK here.

  • Here is an (old) Christmas photo.

  • Here are two (old) vacation photos from Australia.

  • I like music. Can you guess who my favorite musician is? (HINT: See pets, the late Bennie and the Jets.)

  • To contact me:
    E-mail: thombsl@missouri.edu
    Office: Middlebush 307B
    Department of Statistics
    University of Missouri
    Middlebush 146
    Columbia, MO 65211
    (573) 882- 3844 (direct to my office)

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