Person: Wolfowitz, Jacob
Jacob Wolfowitz worked on nonparametric statistical inference with Wald and also collaborated on sequential analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Jacob attended High School in New York and, having graduated, entered the College of the City of New York.
- While Wolfowitz was in the middle of his undergraduate course the Great Depression began.
- When Wolfowitz graduated in 1931 there was little prospects of good employment so he spent the next ten years teaching mathematics in a number of different high schools while he worked towards his doctorate.
- Paul Wolfowitz became the Deputy Secretary of Defense (sic) for the USA in March 2001.
- The first paper which Wolfowitz wrote was a joint one with Wald.
- Wolfowitz's earliest interest was nonparametric inference and the joint paper we just mentioned presents ways of calculating confidence intervals which are not necessarily of fixed width, on a distribution function FFF based on the empiric independent identically distributed observations on FFF.
- It is in a paper by Wolfowitz in 1942 that the word 'nonparametric' appears for the first time.
- Wolfowitz obtained his doctorate from New York University in 1942 and that year joined the Statistical Research Group at Columbia University.
- Wald and Wolfowitz were both attached to the Statistical Research Group at Columbia and they led the research project to develop a theory for sequential analysis.
- Wolfowitz produced work on sequential estimators of a Bernoulli parameter, and results on the efficiency of certain sequential estimators.
- At the end of the war Wolfowitz left the Columbia research group and took up a position as associate professor at University of North Carolina.
- We have mentioned Wolfowitz's work on nonparametric inference and his work on sequential analysis.
- Wolfowitz looked at many aspects of the maximum likelihood method.
- Information theory, which had been started by Shannon, was another area to which Wolfowitz made important contributions.
- It contains the core of the ideas of Wolfowitz's papers and of research influenced by him, which already means that the main stream of present research in this theory is covered.
- Wolfowitz received many honours for his outstanding contributions to statistics.
Born 19 March 1910, Warsaw, Russian Empire (now Poland). Died 16 July 1981, Tampa, Florida, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Origin Poland, Statistics
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive