Stephen E. Fienberg, 1942-2016
Stephen E. Fienberg, professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University and 2012 Fields Keyfitz Lecturer died December 14, 2016. He was 74.
Stephen E. Fienberg, university professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University, died December 14, 2016. He was 74.
Through his decades-long career in statistics, Fienberg worked as a professor, writer, and researcher, creating many different methodologies for statisticians to utilize.
Born in Toronto, Fienberg graduated from the University of Toronto in 1964 with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and statistics. Fienberg then studied at Harvard University, where he received both his Master’s degree in 1965 and his PhD in 1968, with thesis title The Estimation of Cell Probabilities in Two-Way Contingency Tables. Click here for more biographical information.
In 2012, Fienberg visited the Fields Institute as part of the Keyfitz Lecture in Mathematics and the Social Sciences. His lecture, “Counting the People” discussed Nathan Keyfitz’s life-long fascination with different aspects of counting, estimation, and forecasting, especially in the context of producing such population figures and in census taking. Traditionally, most demographers viewed census taking as a counting exercise, but Fienberg showed that there is a lively debate about combining counting with forms of estimation, and the precision that would result. The archival footage of this lecture can be viewed here.
In April 2015, Feinberg returned to the Fields Institute to speak at the Workshop on Big Data for Social Policy. This workshop focused on social problems and policy issues: urban analytics; privacy; official statistics; agent-based modeling and network models. Feinberg’s talk “Overview of Living Analytics Research Centre and its Activities” can be viewed on FieldsLive.
The Fields Institute is saddened to hear about Fienberg’s passing. His presence will be truly missed.
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