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Obituaries for March 2019

1 March 2019 No Comment

Joan Raup Rosenblatt

Joan Raup Rosenblatt, a longtime ASA member and president of the Caucus for Women in Statistics in 1976, died December 5, 2018, at the age of 92. She devoted her career to public service, retiring in 1995 as director of the Computing and Applied Mathematics Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards).

Rosenblatt’s contributions to her field earned her numerous awards and commendations, including the Award for Achievement in Mathematics from the Washington Academy of Sciences (1966), the Federal Woman’s Award (1971), the US Department of Commerce Gold Medal (1976), and the ASA Founders Award (1991).

Rosenblatt was born Joan Eliot Raup on April 15, 1926, the daughter of two professors: Robert Bruce Raup, an educational psychologist at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Clara Eliot, an economist at Barnard College. At her birth, her mother became the first woman at Barnard to obtain a maternity leave.
In 1950, Rosenblatt married another ASA Fellow, David Rosenblatt. They were married 51 years, until his death in 2001.

A longtime resident of Washington, DC, Rosenblatt moved to Ingleside at King Farm in Rockville, Maryland, in 2009. Her family plans to hold a memorial gathering in early 2019.

David Hinkley

David Hinkley, passed away January 11, 2019.  

Students of the theory of statistics will know David through the book Theoretical Statistics, co-authored with David Cox and published by Chapman and Hall in 1974. In laying out the key concepts of the theory of inference with a focus on statistical—rather than mathematical—thinking, the authors marked a new approach to the discipline focused on the needs of science—rather than the formal mathematical structures—and were influential in advancing the field of statistics through the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond.

David also co-authored the book Bootstrap Methods and their Application with Anthony Davison, published at a time when new papers on the bootstrap were appearing at a rapid pace giving a balanced account of the theory, its successes and failures, its range of applications, and the importance of reliable software.

In 1978, David co-authored with Bradley Efron an influential paper for the development of statistical theory: “Assessing the Accuracy of the Maximum Likelihood Estimator: Observed Versus Expected Fisher Information.” The paper preceded a rapid and exciting development of asymptotic theory of statistical inference, its relationship to conditioning, and the development of improved approximations to likelihood inference. Some of this early work was summarized in a paper in the Canadian Journal of Statistics in 1980 simply called “Likelihood.” This paper was based on an invited talk given to the Statistical Society of Canada and had a large impact on research in likelihood theory and methods.

David leaves his children, Sara and Steve; four grandchildren; and many friends and colleagues who appreciated his clarity of thought, his brilliant lectures, his lively and broad-ranging intellect, his wry humor, and his passions for soccer and photography.

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