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Thomas Lee Burr

Thomas Burr

Phone (505) 665-3958


  • Chemical Science
  • Hyperspectral imaging
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology
  • Machine learning
  • Science of Signatures - Remote and Standoff Sensing
  • Nuclear radiation sensing and sensors
  • Radiography
  • Multi-spectral
  • Hyperspectral for infrared, VIS, and UV
  • Machine learning,
  • Hyperspectral data processing algorithms and analysis tools


Applied probability and statistics, including applications of model uncertainty, multivariate time series, multivariate calibration, and exploratory data analysis methods including clustering and classification. Nonproliferation applications include remote monitoring, nuclear material assay, process monitoring, image analysis, multivariate sequential analysis, pattern recognition, and nuclear materials accounting.


Tom Burr received BS degrees in mathematics and physics and a Ph.D. in statistics, all summa cum laude. Tom’s main statistical application areas are in non-proliferation including nuclear, chemical, and biological threats, all of which require attention to uncertainty.

Research interests include model uncertainty, multivariate time series, multivariate calibration, and exploratory data analysis methods including clustering and classification. Nonproliferation applications include remote monitoring, nuclear material assay, process monitoring, image analysis, multivariate sequential analysis, pattern recognition, and nuclear materials accounting. In addition, challenges in tomographic gamma scanning to assay nuclear material lead to empirical Bayes approaches via Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. Tom has also worked on fraud detection in Medicare claims and in the internal revenue service claims, and collaborated with bioinformatics and molecular biology groups involving image analysis, population genetics, disease modeling, and applications of phylogenetic trees to molecular epidemiology. Tom also has experience with several types of remote sensing data.

Since 1992 Tom has co-authored over 250 technical reports including more than 100 conference proceedings and more than 175 refereed articles.



[Heasler, PG * Burr, T * Reid, B * Gesh, C * Bayne, C], "Estimation procedures and error analysis for inferring the total plutonium (Pu) produced by a graphite-moderated reactor", RELIABILITY ENGINEERING & SYSTEM SAFETY, Vol.91, iss.10-11, p.1406-1413, OCT-NOV 2006.

[Burr, TL * Hemphill, GS], "Multiple-component radiation-measurement error models", APPLIED RADIATION AND ISOTOPES, Vol.64, iss.3, p.379-385, MAR 2006.

[Burr, T * Koster, F * Picard, R * Forslund, D * Wokoun, D * Joyce, E * Brillman, J * Froman, P * Lee, J], "Computer-aided diagnosis with potential application to rapid detection of disease outbreaks", STATISTICS IN MEDICINE, Vol.26, iss.8, p.1857-1874, APR 15 2007.

[Burr, T * Hengartner, N], "Overview of physical models and statistical approaches for weak gaseous plume detection using passive infrared hyperspectral imagery", SENSORS, Vol.6, iss.12, p.1721-1750, DEC 2006.

[Burr, T * Foy, BR * Fry, H * Mcvey, B], "Characterizing clutter in the context of detecting weak gaseous plumes in hyperspectral imagery", SENSORS, Vol.6, iss.11, p.1587-1615, NOV 2006.

[Burr, T. * Gattiker, J.R. * Myers, K. * Tompkins, G.], "Alarm criteria in radiation portal monitoring", Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Vol.65, iss.5, p.569-580, May 2007.

[Burr, T * Doak, J], "Distribution-free discriminant analysis", INTELLIGENT DATA ANALYSIS, Vol.11, iss.6, p.651-662, 2007.

[Burr, TL * Chowell, G], "Signatures of non-homogeneous mixing in disease outbreaks", MATHEMATICAL AND COMPUTER MODELLING, Vol.48, iss.1-2, p.122-140, JUL 2008.

[Burr, T * Fry, H * McVey, B * Sander, E * Cavanaugh, J * Neath, A], "Performance of variable selection methods in regression using variations of the Bayesian information criterion", COMMUNICATIONS IN STATISTICS-SIMULATION AND COMPUTATION, Vol.37, iss.3, p.507-520, 2008.

[Burr, T. * Myers, K.], "Signatures for several types of naturally occurring radioactive materials", Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Vol.66, iss.9, p.1250-1261, September 2008.

[Burr, T. * Butterfield, K.], "Variance results for the second and third reduced sample moments in neutron multiplicity counting for randomly triggered or signal-triggered counting gates", Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol.594, iss.2, p.257-265, 20080901.

[Picard, R. * Burr, T.], "Networked sensors for cargo screening", IEEE Sensors Journal, vol.8, no.8, p.1389-96, Aug. 2008.

[Burr, T.L. * Spencer, F.W. * Weier, D.R. * Weitz, R.L.], "Statistical algorithm for sampling from a growing population", Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, Vol.36, iss.3, p.30-35, Spring 2008.


[Burr, T. * Weier, D.], "Hypothesis testing: Frequentist versus Bayesian with examples from nuclear safeguards", Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, Vol.37, iss.2, p.16-22, Winter 2009.

[Burr, T * Myers, K], "Effects of background suppression of gamma counts on signal estimation", APPLIED RADIATION AND ISOTOPES, Vol.67, iss.9, p.1729-1737, SEP 2009.

[Gattiker, J.R. * Burr, T.], "Bayesian estimation of the source and suppression effects in vehicle radiation signatures", Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, Vol.37, iss.3, p.14-24, Spring 2009.

[Burr, T. * Ehinger, M. * Howell, J.], "A review of process monitoring for safeguards", 8th International Conference on Facility Operations: Safeguards Interface 2008, p.190-200, 2008.

[Burr, T * Hamada, MS * Graves, TL * Myers, S], "Augmenting Real Data with Synthetic Data: An Application in Assessing Radio-Isotope Identification Algorithms", QUALITY AND RELIABILITY ENGINEERING INTERNATIONAL, Vol.25, iss.8, p.899-911, DEC 2009.

[Burr, T], "Phylogenetic Trees in Bioinformatics", CURRENT BIOINFORMATICS, Vol.5, iss.1, p.40-52, MAR 2010.

[Vardeman, SB * Wendelberger, JR * Burr, T * Hamada, MS * Moore, LM * Jobe, JM * Morris, MD * Wu, HQ], "Elementary Statistical Methods and Measurement Error", AMERICAN STATISTICIAN, Vol.64, iss.1, p.46-51, FEB 2010.

[Burr, T * Hengartner, N * Matzner-Lober, E * Myers, S * Rouviere, L], "Smoothing Low Resolution Gamma Spectra", IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NUCLEAR SCIENCE, Vol.57, iss.5, pt.3, p.2831-2840, OCT 2010.

[Burr, T. * Suzuki, M. * Howell, J. * Longo, C.E. * Hamada, M.S.], "Signal estimation and change detection in tank data for nuclear safeguards", Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol.640, iss.1, p.200-212, 20110601.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M. * Hengartner, N.], "Impact of spectral smoothing on gamma radiation portal alarm probabilities", Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Vol.69, iss.10, p.1436-1446, October 2011.

[Burr, T * Hamada, MS * Cremers, T * Weaver, BP * Howell, J * Croft, S * Vardeman, SB], "Measurement error models and variance estimation in the presence of rounding error effects", ACCREDITATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE, Vol.16, iss.7, p.347-359, JUL 2011.

[Garcia, H.E. * Burr, T.L. * Coles, G.A. * Edmunds, T.A. * Garrett, A.J. * Gorensek, M.B. * Hamm, L.L. * Krebs, J.F. * Kress, R.L. * Lamberti, V.E. * Schoenwald, D.A. * Tzanos, C.P. * Ward, R.C.], "Integration of facility modeling capabilities for nuclear nonproliferation analysis", Progress in Nuclear Energy, Vol.54, iss.1, p.96-111, January 2012.

[Burr, T * Hamada, MS * Howell, J * Suzuki, M], "Loss detection results on simulated tank data modified by realistic effects", JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Vol.49, iss.1-2, p.209-221, JAN-FEB 2012.

[Burr, T. * Budlong-Sylvester, K. * Myers, K. * Demuth, S. * Bakel, A. * Krebs, J. * Bryan, S. * Orton, C. * Ehinger, M. * Garcia, H. * Howell, J. * Johnson, S. * Thomas, M. * Damico, J.], "Roles for process monitoring in nuclear safeguards at aqueous reprocessing plants", Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, Vol.40, iss.2, p.42-52, Winter 2012.

[Burr, T * Hamada, MS], "Finding Test Statistic Thresholds Using Simulation and Model Fitting with an Application to Radiation Detection", QUALITY ENGINEERING, Vol.24, iss.3, p.400-403, 2012.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M.S.], "Estimating alarm thresholds and the number of components in mixture distributions", Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol.685, p.55-61, 20120901.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M.S.], "Simultaneous estimation of computer model parameters and model bias", Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Vol.70, iss.8, p.1675-1684, August 2012.

[Croft, S. * Burr, T. * Favalli, A.], "A simple-minded direct approach to estimating the calibration parameter for proportionate data", Radiation Measurements, Vol.47, iss.7, p.486-491, July 2012.

[Burr, T * Conlin, J * Hu, JW * Galloway, J * Henzl, V * Menlove, H * Swinhoe, M * Tobin, S * Trellue, H * Ulrich, T], "Uncertainty Quantification for New Approaches to Spent Fuel Assay", NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, Vol.172, iss.2, p.180-192, OCT 2012.

[Burr, T * Croft, S * Hamada, MS * Vardeman, S * Weaver, B], "Rounding error effects in the presence of underlying measurement error", ACCREDITATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE, Vol.17, iss.5, p.485-490, OCT 2012.

[Howell, John * Bevan, Geraint * Burr, Tom], "Inspector interfaces to facilitate subjective reasoning about quantities in trends", COMPUTERS & CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, Vol.48, p.29-39, JAN 10 2013.

[Burr, Tom * Williams, Brian * Croft, Stephen * White, Morgan * Hanson, Ken], "Meta-Analysis Options for Inconsistent Nuclear Measurements", NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, Vol.173, iss.1, p.15-27, JAN 2013.

[Burr, Tom * Budlong-Sylvester, Kory * Hamada, Michael S. * Longo, Claire * Weaver, Brian * Howell, John * Suzuki, Mitsutoshi], "Strengthened nuclear safeguards: A statistical view in the context of combining process monitoring and nuclear material accounting data", Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, Vol.40, iss.4, p.115-129, Summer 2012.

[Hamada, M. S. * Lohr, S. L. * Hamada, C. A. * Burr, T.], "Estimating a Proportion from Repeated Sampling of a Growing Population", QUALITY ENGINEERING, Vol.25, iss.2, p.108-117, APR 1 2013.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M. S.], "Revisiting Statistical Aspects of Nuclear Material Accounting", SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS, p.961360, 2013.

[Burr, T. * Croft, S. * Reed, B.C.], "Least-squares fitting with errors in the response and predictor", International Journal of Metrology and Quality Engineering, Vol.3, iss.2, p.117-123, 2012.

[Picard, Rick * Burr, Tom * Hamada, Michael S.], "Quantile estimation for radiation portal monitoring", Technometrics, Vol.55, iss.1, p.94-102, 2013.

[Burr, Tom * Hamada, Michael S. * Howell, John * Skurikhin, Misha * Ticknor, Larry * Weaver, Brian], "Estimating Alarm Thresholds for Process Monitoring Data under Different Assumptions about the Data Generating Mechanism", SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS, p.705878, 2013.

[Burr, Tom * Hamada, Michael S. * Myers, Kary * Skurikhin, Misha], "Point-Source Detection Using Gamma-Ray Spectra in Radiation-portal Monitoring", JOURNAL OF QUALITY TECHNOLOGY, Vol.45, iss.3, p.285-296, JUL 2013.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M.S.], "Data analysis in support of radiation portal monitoring", International Journal of Research and Reviews in Applied Sciences, Vol.14, iss.1, p.1-16, Jan. 2013.

[Favorite, Jeffrey A. * Armstrong, Jerawan C. * Burr, Tom], "Uncertainty analysis of densities and isotopics: Handling correlations", International Conference on Mathematics and Computational Methods Applied to Nuclear Science and Engineering, M and C 2013, Vol.2, p.1108-1122, 2013.

[Burr, Tom * Hamada, Michael S.], "Moving Neutron Source Detection in Radiation Portal Monitoring", TECHNOMETRICS, Vol.55, iss.3, p.296-308, AUG 2013.

[Burr, Tom * Skurikhin, Alexei], "Selecting Summary Statistics in Approximate Bayesian Computation for Calibrating Stochastic Models", BIOMED RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL, p.210646, 2013.

[Song, Jian * Wolinsky, Murray * Wren, Melinda * Burr, Tom * Li, Po-E * Doggett, Norman], "Forensic signatures for Marburgviruses", FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL, Vol.233, iss.1-3, p.338-347, DEC 10 2013.

[Croft, S. * Burr, T. L. * Favalli, A.], "Estimating the half-life of Pu-241 and its uncertainty", RADIATION MEASUREMENTS, Vol.59, p.94-102, DEC 2013.

[Vardeman, Stephen * Hamada, Michael S. * Burr, Tom * Morris, Max * Wendelberger, Joanne * Jobe, J. Marcus * Moore, Leslie * Wu, Huaiquing], "An Introduction to Statistical Issues and Methods in Metrology for Physical Science and Engineering", JOURNAL OF QUALITY TECHNOLOGY, Vol.46, iss.1, p.33-62, JAN 2014.

[Burr, Tom * Hamada, Michael S. * Ticknor, Larry * Weaver, Brian], "Model selection and change detection for a time-varying mean in process monitoring", NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION A-ACCELERATORS SPECTROMETERS DETECTORS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT, Vol.751, p.79-87, JUL 1 2014.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M. S.], "Analyzing censored data in the analysis of multiplicative repeatability and reproducibility studies", ACCREDITATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE, Vol.19, iss.2, p.75-80, APR 2014.

[Burr, Tom * Hamada, Michael S.], "Smoothing and Time Series Modeling of Nuclear Material Accounting Data for Protracted Diversion Detection", NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, Vol.177, iss.3, p.307-320, JUL 2014.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M.S. * Ticknor, L. * Sprinkle, J.], "Hybrid Statistical Testing for Nuclear Material Accounting Data and/or Process Monitoring Data in Nuclear Safeguards", Energies, Vol.8, iss.1, p.501-28, Jan. 2015.

[Burr, T. * Hoover, A. * Croft, S. * Rabin, M.], "Exploring the Impact of Nuclear Data Uncertainties in Ultra-high Resolution Gamma Spectroscopy for Isotopic Analysis Using Approximate Bayesian Computation", NUCLEAR DATA SHEETS, Vol.123, spec. iss.SI, p.140-145, JAN 2015.

[Burr, T. * Trellue, H. * Tobin, S. * Favalli, A. * Dowell, J. * Henzl, V. * Mozin, V.], "Integrated Nondestructive Assay Systems to Estimate Plutonium in Spent Fuel Assemblies", NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, Vol.179, iss.3, p.321-332, MAR 2015.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M.S.], "Bayesian Updating of Material Balances Covariance Matrices Using Training Data", International Journal of Prognostics and Health Management, Vol.5, iss.1, p.1-12, 2014.

[Song, Jian * Doggett, Norman * Wren, Melinda * Burr, Tom * Fenimore, P. W. * Hatcher, Eneida L. * Bruno, William J. * Li, Po-E * Stubben, Chris * Wolinsky, Murray], "Development of Forensic Assay Signatures for Ebolaviruses", JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, Vol.60, iss.2, p.315-325, MAR 2015.

[Neudecker, D. * Capote, R. * Smith, D. L. * Burr, T. * Talou, P.], "Impact of the Normalization Condition and Model Information on Evaluated Prompt Fission Neutron Spectra and Associated Uncertainties", NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, Vol.179, iss.4, p.381-397, APR 2015.

[Burr, T. * Hamada, M.S.], "A Multiplicative Model for Gauge R & R Studies", Quality and Reliability Engineering International, Vol.31, p.801-809, 1 July 2015.

[Anderson-Cook, Christine M. * Burr, Tom * Hamada, M. S. * Thomas, Edward V.], "Statistical analysis for nuclear forensics experiments", STATISTICAL ANALYSIS AND DATA MINING, Vol.8, iss.5-6, spec. iss.SI, p.364-377, OCT-DEC 2015.

[Burr, Tom * Skurikhin, Alexei], "Conditional random fields for pattern recognition applied to structured data", Algorithms, Vol.8, iss.3, p.466-483, September 2015.

[Hengartner, Nick * Burr, Tom * Croft, Stephen * Smith-Nelson, Mark], "Estimating moments of the neutron chain size distribution in multiplying items", Mathematics and Computations, Supercomputing in Nuclear Applications and Monte Carlo International Conference, M and C+SNA+MC 2015, Vol.2, p.1088-1110, 2015.

[Anderson-Cook, Christine M. * Hamada, Michael S. * Burr, Tom], "The Impact of Response Measurement Error on the Analysis of Designed Experiments", Quality and Reliability Engineering International, Vol.32, iss.7, p.2415-2433, 1 November 2016.

[Thomas, Edward V. * Lewis, John R. * Anderson-Cook, Christine M. * Burr, Tom * Hamada, Michael S.], "Selecting an Informative/Discriminating Multivariate Response for Inverse Prediction", JOURNAL OF QUALITY TECHNOLOGY, Vol.49, iss.3, p.228-243, JUL 2017.

[Favorite, Jeffrey A. * Burr, Tom], "Second-order uncertainty analysis for radiation shielding problems using MCNP", Transactions of the American Nuclear Society, Vol.116, p.595-598, 2017.

[Burr, Tom * Longo, Claire], "Signal estimation using wavelet analysis of solution monitoring data for nuclear safeguards", Axioms, Vol.2, iss.1, p.44-57, 1 March 2013.


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