Funded by RTI, the award was established in 2003 in memory of Gertrude M. Cox (1900-1978). The award annually recognizes a statistician in early to mid-career who has made significant contributions to one or more of the areas of applied statistics in which Cox worked: survey methodology, experimental design, biostatistics, and statistical computing.
Cox was one of the first scientists at RTI. Known as the "first lady" of statistics, she became the first woman elected into the International Statistical Institute in 1949. In 1956 she was elected president of the American Statistical Association, and in 1975 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
In 1958 Cox led a committee that did the early planning for a new research institute in North Carolina, which became RTI. She was director of RTI's statistics research division from 1959 to 1964, and the Cox Building on the institute's main campus is named for her.
Cox also played a key role in establishing mathematical and biostatistics departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Cox Award recipient is chosen by a six person committee—three each from the Washington Statistical Society and RTI. The recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium, travel expenses to attend the Washington Statistical Society Annual Dinner, and a commemorative plaque.
Past recipients include Sharon Lohr, Alan Zaslavsky, Tom Belin, Vance Berger, Francesca Domenici, and Thomas Lumley.
The Washington Statistical Society serves the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and is the largest, most active chapter of the American Statistical Association. Krotki was elected this year as president-elect of the Washington Statistical Society.