Contact Us


Brigham Young University Academic Vice President Brent W. Webb announced this week that C. Shane Reese has been named the new dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

A professor in the Department of Statistics, Reese will begin his five-year term as dean on July 1. He is replacing Scott Sommerfeldt, who has been serving as dean since 2007.

“Shane Reese brings a distinguished record of teaching and research to this new assignment,” said Webb. “We are confident of his commitment to continue the college’s legacy of student-centered education. We express appreciation to Scott Sommerfeldt for his decade of visionary and energetic leadership.”

After serving 10 years as dean, Sommerfeldt will return to full-time teaching and research as a professor of physics and astronomy in the college.

“I am deeply grateful to Dean Scott Sommerfeldt,” Webb said. “He has provided fine service to the college and added insight and skill to our university councils.”

Reese began teaching at BYU in 2001 as an assistant professor of statistics. From 2010-2012, he served as an associate department chair and the graduate coordinator.

Reese earned a doctoral degree in statistics from Texas A&M University. He earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in statistics from BYU.

His academic areas of interest are Bayesian hierarchical models, Bayesian optimal experimental design and sports statistics. He has worked with nuclear weapons and helped the National Academy of Science monitor the demolition of two chemical weapons stockpiles. He consulted for an NFL team and the U.S. Olympic volleyball team. He published original research on baseball legend Babe Ruth and NASCAR icon Jeff Gordon. And he predicts the power of solar storms and helped government scientists understand a shape-shifting mass of energy on the edge of our galaxy. He continues to maintain external funding for research on glacier mass balance in Antarctica and High Mountain Asia (Himalayas).

His publications in these areas include a book on Bayesian Reliability, 56 journal articles and a patent for robust watermarking for digital media.

As a result of his work, he was awarded the American Statistical Association (ASA) Excellence in Statistics in Sports Award in 2010 and became an ASA Fellow in 2013. Reese also received the Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award at BYU in 2010.

Reese currently serves as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Guardrail end-treatments. He has been an associate editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Technometrics and the editor of Chance magazine. He has recently served as chair of the ASA Council of Chapters Governing Board and the chair of the ASA Section on Statistics in Sports.

The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences has more than 3,500 students majoring in one of seven different departments.