Person: Lukacs, Eugene
Eugene Lukacs was a Hungarian-American statistician known for his work on characterisation of distributions and stability theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- After primary and the Realgymnasium secondary school, Lukacs entered the Technical University in Vienna in 1925 where he studied mechanical engineering.
- After taking his first degree, Lukacs continued to study at Vienna for his doctorate.
- This was no time to get an academic position in a university, so Lukacs took a post as a secondary school teacher in Vienna.
- All this was bad news for Lukacs, particularly since he was Jewish.
- Lukacs left school teaching in 1933 and took up a position as an actuary at an insurance company, having E Helly, another of Jewish origin, amongst his colleagues in the insurance company.
- In 1937 Lukacs left the insurance company.
- Elizabeth Lukacs left for the United States late in 1938 while Eugene left some time later, reaching the United States in February 1939.
- While at the University of Vienna, Lukacs had met Wald who was also a Hungarian Jew.
- Wald was working on statistics and probability and he persuaded Lukacs to take an interest in this topic too.
- However Elizabeth Lukacs found a post teaching at Garrison High School in Baltimore and she encouraged Eugene to apply for a position at Friends High School in Baltimore.
- In 1942 Lukacs had made an important contribution to mathematical statistics by introducing, for the first time, the method of differential equations in characteristic function theory.
- After moving to Cincinnati, Lukacs worked with Szász who had held a post there from 1936.
- He continued at Our Lady of Cincinnati College until 1953, although he spent some leave working as a mathematical statistician at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. In 1953 Lukacs Eugene joined the Office of Naval Research and he later became the Head of its Statistics.
- Lukacs moved again, this time in 1955 to the Catholic University of America where, in 1959, he set up the Statistical Laboratory becoming its director.
- Lukacs retired in 1972, and went first to Bowling Green where he remained for four years.
- Other topics to which Lukacs made major contributions include characterisations of distributions, stability of characterisation results and functional equations.
- Lukacs's hobbies and interests included stamp and coin collecting, hiking, bird watching, photography and, as stated above, travelling.
- We shall miss Eugene greatly, not only for his contributions to probability and statistics but also as a colleague, a friend and as a human being of integrity.
- Lukacs undertook many editorial duties.
Born 14 August 1906, Szombathely, Hungary. Died 21 December 1987, Washington D.C., USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Hungary, Statistics
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive