Lynn McIver "Mike" Perry, Ph.D.



Dr. Kay R. Dickson, “Lynn McIver "Mike" Perry, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 24, 2024,

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Lynn McIver "Mike" Perry, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Kay R. Dickson




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

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Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences Mike Perry graduated from Sanford Central High School, Sanford, North Carolina, in 1958. He received a B.S. degree in mathematics (1962), a M.A.M degree in applied math (1964), and a Ph.D. degree in mathematics (1967) from North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Perry also received a M.S. degree in statistics (1980) from Texas A & M University, College Station. Perry and his wife, Sandra, recently celebrated their forty-third wedding anniversary. The Perrys have two children and two grandchildren. A daughter, Fran, is the mother of two girls; she and her family live in Charlotte, North Carolina. A son, Morgan, also lives in Charlotte. Dr. Perry's career at Appalachian State University began in 1968, and he was chair of the Department of Mathematics from 1973 through 1980. As chair, Perry was instrumental in reinventing the department, for this was the time of change from a teachers' college to a comprehensive regional university. The curriculum and degree programs were completely overhauled, and many new faculty were hired. The department was renamed the "Department of Mathematical Sciences," and a B.S. non-teaching degree (the first in the College of Arts and Sciences), with a three-option structure in mathematics, or statistics, or computer science was introduced. By the late 1970s, the computer-science option evolved into the first undergraduate-degree program in North Carolina. After several years as chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Perry was ready to devote more time to academics and professional activities. In 1981, he became involved in a natio-wide movement to introduce statistical education in grades K-12. The National Science Foundation gave him generous funding for five projects in statistical education, and most of his writings during this period dealt with issues related to the learning of statistics. He also spent two fall terms (1991 and 1997) at English universities to collaborate with persons there on several special projects. Perry's numerous articles on statistical education include the following: • "Counting Penguins." Mathematics Teacher 91:2 (1998) (with G. Kader). • "Push-Penny: Are You a Random Player?" Teaching Statistics 21 (1999). • "The Coefficient of Unalikability." Teaching Statistics 27 (2005) (With G. Kader). • "Going MAD in Degrees of Unfairness!" Teaching Statistics 27 (2005). Dr. Perry retired from his full-time position in 2002, but continues to teach two classes at Appalachian State each fall semester. He is currently working on a book entitled Learning Statistics. In the additional time he has had since his retirement, Perry has enjoyed playing tennis and golf; he also enjoys hiking and playing with his two granddaughters. In the winter and early spring he disappears, along with his wife, laptop, and golf clubs, to his house on the coast of South Carolina. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence. -Dr. Kay R. Dickson

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