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James J Filliben (Fed)

Jim Filliben received his B.A. in Mathematics from LaSalle College (1965) and his Ph.D. in Statistics from Princeton University (1969). He then joined NIST for a career that currently spans 45 years.

His research interests include exploratory data analysis, statistical graphics, experiment design, distributional modeling, time series analysis, computational modeling (validation & verification, calibration, and optimization), and sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. He has been an energetic teacher and educator, and an eclectic collaborator in the widest range of scientific and engineering projects. He has published more than 80 technical papers, given more than 250 talks, and taught many courses inside and outside of NIST.

His contributions to statistical methodology include EDA 4-plots, bihistograms, block plots, DEX interaction effects matrices, the 10-step procedure for DEX sensitivity analysis, the PPCC (probability plot correlation coefficient) criterion for general distributional testing, and the "Filliben" test for normality (1975) (which has more than 700 citations in a variety of scientific publications).

Jim has been a core member of SED teams in the production of web-based references that include StRD: Standard Reference Datasets for Statistical Software Testing, and the NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods. Some of his high-profile NIST projects include Selective Service Draft Lottery, HUD Operation Breakthrough Total Energy Project (BFRL), DOT Daylight Saving Time Study, NIJ Ballistics Database Feasibility Study (MEL & EEEL), World Trade Center Collapse Analysis (BFRL), Cloud Computing (ITL), Complex System Network Analysis (ITL), and CT Scanner Dose Reduction (ITL).

Technical Areas of Research and Consulting:

  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Statistical graphics
  • Experiment design
  • Distributional modeling
  • Statistical computing (he is the author of Dataplot--the first (1978) interactive, multiplatform, integrated graphics and analysis software system for scientists and engineers

Current Projects/Duties:

Professional Activities and Societies and Standards Activities:


  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal (Military Body Armor), 2011
  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal (Biochem), 2011
  • Department of Commerce Gold Medal (Police Body Armor), 2010
  • Department of Commerce Gold Medal (WTC), 2005
  • Department of Commerce Silver Medal (e-Handbook), 2003
  • American Statistical Association W. J. Youden Award, 2003
  • Fellow: American Statistical Association, 2003
  • Department of Commerce Gold Medal (Dataplot), 1984
  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, 1981


Thermal Properties of Pyroceram Code 9606

Daniel R. Flynn, James H. Yen, James J. Filliben, Robert R. Zarr, E M. Hohlfeld
In the late 1950s, Corning Glass Works measured the heat capacity, thermal diffusivity, and thermal expansion of Pyroceram Code 9606. In the early 1960s the

Learning to Recognize Distributional Functions

J E. Devaney, L Hunter, James J. Filliben
This paper introduces a novel methodology that enables recognition of distributional functions without doing a fit of the data to the distribution. This
Created October 9, 2019, Updated June 15, 2021