Archive for IMS Bulletin

Colin Blyth (1922-2019)

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2020 by xi'an

While reading the IMS Bulletin (of March 2020), I found out that Canadian statistician Colin Blyth had died last summer. While we had never met in person, I remember his very distinctive and elegant handwriting in a few letters he sent me, including the above I have kept (along with an handwritten letter from Lucien Le Cam!). It contains suggestions about revising our Is Pitman nearness a reasonable criterion?, written with Gene Hwang and William Strawderman and which took three years to publish as it was deemed somewhat controversial. It actually appeared in JASA with discussions from Malay Ghosh, John Keating and Pranab K Sen, Shyamal Das Peddada, C. R. Rao, George Casella and Martin T. Wells, and Colin R. Blyth (with a much stronger wording than in the above letter!, like “What can be said but “It isn’t I, it’s you that are crazy?”). While I had used some of his admissibility results, including the admissibility of the Normal sample average in dimension one, e.g. in my book, I had not realised at the time that Blyth was (a) the first student of Erich Lehmann (b) the originator of [the name] Simpson’s paradox, (c) the scribe for Lehmann’s notes that would eventually lead to Testing Statistical Hypotheses and Theory of Point Estimation, later revised with George Casella. And (d) a keen bagpipe player and scholar.

Matrix tricks [by Puntanen, Styan, & Isolato]

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , on October 15, 2011 by xi'an

While I have not read it but only browsed through, the book Matrix Tricks for Linear Statistical Models:  Our Personal Top Twenty by Simo Puntanen, George P. H. Styan and Jarkko Isotalo, sounds like a very enjoyable book! Containing not only tricks, but also stories, pictures, and even stamps! Simo is the current editor of the book review section of the International Statistical Review, who is handling with much benevolence my book reviews, while George was for many years the fantastic editor of the IMS Bulletin. (Just to warn the readership I may be slightly biased in my evaluation!)