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 in 2002.
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.
Obituray for Erich Lehmann
Obituray for Erich Lehmann by his family and Peter Bickel:
Professor Erich Lehmann, a major figure in our field of statistics, died on September 12, 2009, at the age of 91. Lehmann, who taught in Berkeley’s Statistics Department, touched the lives of many people in statistics and beyond. He was a leading figure in the second generation of statisticians, following the establishment of the modern field by Neyman, Fisher and Wald before and shortly after the Second World War. As is usual after a period of explosive innovation, confusion reigned. It was Lehmann’s great talent to clear the fog and build a coherent theoretical structure. This was reflected in his great books, Testing Statistical Hypotheses (1959) and Theory of Point Estimation (1983), which were the centerpieces of graduate statistical education for most of the last half of the century, and have been translated into many languages. The structures he built incorporated much of his own research into decision theoretic questions, the theory of unbiased estimation, rank based methods including their asymptotic theory and many other areas of statistics, including concepts of dependence, multiple comparison procedures, the history of statistics and much else.
Lehmann achieved all the major honors awarded in the field and beyond: the prestigious Wald and Fisher lectureships , the presidency of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the editorship of its main journal, The Annals of Mathemtical Statistics. He was granted a remarkable three Guggenheim Fellowships in 1955, 1966 and 1980 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1975 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978. The Universities of Leiden and Chicago awarded him honorary doctorates. At Berkeley he held Miller Professorships twice and served reluctantly but very effectively as Department Chair.
Born in Strasbourg, France in 1917, Lehmann was raised in Frankfurt am Main, where his family had deep roots. . Fleeing the Nazis with his family in 1933, he graduated from high school in Switzerland and attended college in Cambridge, England. He enrolled in Berkeley as a graduate student in 1940 and never left, save for stints in the Air Force during World War II, when he was stationed in Guam, and leaves at Columbia, Princeton and Stanford. Obtaining his Ph.D. in 1946, he embarked on a teaching career that included the supervision of more than 40 doctoral students of his own, several of whom became leaders in the next generation of statisticians. This achievement was due not only to his great scientific stature but also to remarkable personal qualities. He was kind and generous of spirit, had an unusual sensitivity to the feelings of others and a great astuteness about the world, what could be achieved, and how to do it. As a consequence his impact on his students and colleagues went well beyond the scientific. They honored him with a Festschrift (1983) for his 65th birthday, a series of three Lehmann Symposia (2002,2004,2007), and a forthcoming volume of selected works.
In addition to his masterpieces, Lehmann published three important, less advanced texts: Basic Concepts of Statistics (with his longtime collaborator and friend J. L. Hodges, Jr.) Nonparametrics: Statistics Based on Ranks, and Elements of Large Sample Theory. After a second edition of his classic Testing Statistical Hypotheses in 1986, he recruited young collaborators for further editions of his major texts - George Casella for Estimation in 1998 and Joe Romano for a third edition of Testing in 2005. These were major revisions that brought the books back to the frontiers of research. In his last decade he turned his energies to the history of the field in whose development he played such an important part, publishing his professional autobiography, Reminiscences of a Statistician: The Company I Kept, and an account of the productive rivalry between Fisher and Neyman tentatively titled Fisher, Neyman, and the Creation of Classical Statistics, completed shortly before his death, to be published by Springer. He also enjoyed a lifelong passion for literature and in retirement translated stories by favorite authors such as Adalbert Stifter and Wilhelm Raabe, seeking to give them a wider audience than they previously enjoyed. At the time of his death he was working with Fritz Scholz, a former student, on a new edition of his Nonparametrics to be used in conjunction with the popular “R” statistical language.
He is survived by his wife, Juliet Popper Shaffer, herself an accomplished member of our field and a collaborator during the later part of his life and a loving blended family that includes his three children, Stephen, Barbara and Sophia; three step-children, Ron, Len and Tanya; eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren with a third on the way.