Mary Thompson

Distinguished Professor Emerita

Mary Thompson
Contact Information:
Mary Thompson

Research interests

Professor Thompson works primarily in survey methodology and sampling theory. Her book Theory of Sample Surveys describes the mathematical and foundational theory in detail; it also contains a systematic approach to using estimating functions in surveys, and a thorough discussion (with examples) of the role of the sampling design when survey data are used for analytic purposes.

Estimation for stochastic processes has been another theme of her research. These twothemes come together in aspects of inference from complex longitudinal surveys. Issues in the design of longitudinal surveys to support causal inference are central to work on the International Tobacco Control Survey, with which Professor Thompson has been involved since 2002. She studies the application of multilevel models and longitudinal models with time-varying covariates to complex survey data, including the best ways to adapt the estimating functions systems for use with survey weights, and the use of resampling techniques to provide accurate interval estimates.

She is also currently collaborating on projects in survival and multistate models and the design of behavioural interventions on random networks.


Professor Thompson has been active in the Statistical Society of Canada, serving as president in 2003-04. She is particularly interested in promoting collaboration between statisticians and researchers in the natural, health and social sciences.

She was the initial Scientific Director of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI).


  • Chen, M., Thompson, M. E. and Wu, C. (2018) Empirical likelihood methods for complex surveys with data missing-by-design.  Statistica Sinica 28, 2027-2048.
  • Thompson, M. E. (2018) Dynamic data and official statistics.  The Canadian Journal of Statistics 46, 10-23.
  • Chen, Q., Elliott, M. R., Haziza, D., Yang, Y., Ghosh, M., Little, R.J.A., Sedransk, J., and Thompson, M. (2017) Approaches to improving survey-weighted estimates.  Statistical Science 32, 227-248.
  • Chen, M., Wu, C. and Thompson, M. E. (2016)  Mann-Whitney test with empirical likelihood methods for pretest-posttest studies.  Journal of Nonparametric Statistics 28(2), 360-374.
  • Thompson, M. E., Ramirez Ramirez, L. L., Lyubchich, V. and Gel, Y. (2016) Using bootstrap for statistical inference on random graphs.   Canadian Journal of Statistics 44(1), 3-24.
  • Chen, M., Wu, C. and Thompson, M. E. (2015) An imputation based empirical likelihood approach to pretest-posttest studies.  Canadian Journal of Statistics 43(3), 378-402.
  • Zhou, Q., Song, P. X.-K. and Thompson, M. E. (2015) Profiling heteroscedasticity in linear regression models.   Canadian Journal of Statistics 43(3), 358-377.
  • Zhou, Q. M., Song, P. X.-K. and Thompson, M. E. (2012) Information ratio test for model misspecification in quasi-likelihood inference. Journal of the American Statistical Association 107.
  • Wang, Z. and Thompson, M. E. (2012) A resampling approach to estimate variance components of multilevel models. Canadian Journal of Statistics 40, 150-171.