Obituary for Miguel Angel Arcones
Written in memory of Miguel by Evarist Giné, David Mason, Francisco Samaniego and Anton Schick:
Miguel Angel Arcones, 46, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Binghamton University, died on December 30, 2009, after a long battle with cancer. A native of Segovia, Spain, Arcones began his graduate studies in the US in 1987 and earned his PhD in 1991 from the CUNY, working with Evarist Giné. After several postdoctoral appointments, Miguel joined the faculty of Binghamton University in 1998. In spite of periods of illness and hospitalization, he carried out his duties as a teacher and scholar with determination and grace, and he distinguished himself in both. He was well known for the depth and breadth of his research and was an elected member of the ISI and a Fellow of the IMS. He was highly appreciated by his students for his passion for the discipline and for his devotion to their learning. While serving as a Wylie Instructor at the University of Utah early in his career, he received an outstanding instructor award. Later, he enthusiastically served as the faculty mentor of the Mathematics Club at Binghamton University. He was the driving force behind the establishment of a thriving actuarial degree program at BU.
Miguel's research interests and achievements were impressive, both broad in range and marked by conceptual and technical sophistication. His work in Probability Theory includes notable contributions to the theory of U-processes, limit theory under dependence conditions and large deviations theory. Particularly influential were his series of papers published in 1993-4 on the asymptotic theory of U processes, his celebrated 1994 paper on the limit distribution of functionals of stationary sequences of Gaussian vectors and his definitive treatment, in 2003-4, of the large deviation principle for stochastic processes. His work in Mathematical Statistics was equally broad, including contributions to bootstrap theory, the asymptotics of U-Statistics and M-estimators, the Bahadur-Kiefer representation in a wide array of statistical contexts and order-restricted inference in Reliability. His contributions to the theory of U-statistics, beginning with his 1992 Annals of Statistics
paper on bootstrapping U-Statistics, and including subsequent papers on large deviations, inequalities, the LLN, the CLT and the LIL for U-Statistics, were especially notable. He also wrote a diverse stream of research papers M-estimator asymptotics. His contributions to reliability were focused on constrained estimation of a survival function. His work on estimation under a uniform stochastic ordering constraint appeared in the AoS
in 2000, and his work on estimation under a "stochastic precedence" constraint was published in JASA
For seven years, Miguel served as an Associate Editor for JASA's Theory and Methods Section. The Editors he served for will readily attest to the outstanding service he rendered in this capacity. His AE reports were, without exception, timely and thorough, always containing insightful commentary on the reviews he commissioned and always including an independent analysis that added value. Additional evidence of the generosity of his professional service is the fact that he published over 130 articles in Mathematical Reviews
. He was the founding Editor of the International Journal of Statistics and Management Systems
and nurtured the fledgling journal for its first four years. His high standards and breadth of expertise are readily apparent from the volumes of the IJSMS that he saw through to publication. He passed away just weeks after having participated in the search for his replacement.
Miguel Arcones was a gentle giant in the statistical sciences, shy and sometimes unnoticeable in social settings, yet animated, stimulating and highly creative in his professional interactions. To his research visitors, he was a warm and gracious host. His colleagues and collaborators will not soon forget his generous nature, the excitement that he felt and shared when thinking about research questions, his sense of humor and hearty laugh and the friendship that he offered so fully and sincerely. His premature passing is a great loss to our discipline. While his work will continue to influence students and researchers in Probability and Statistics for years to come, the role he played in the lives of his friends, students, colleagues and collaborators is irreplaceable. He is a man who left a strong positive imprint, both personally and professionally. May he rest in peace.
Created: Thursday, 27 May 2010 08:21