Arthur Pentland Dempster

(b. 1929)

Quick Reference

(1929–  ; b. Toronto, Canada)

Canadian statistician specializing in statistical inference whose career has been in the United States. Dempster obtained his BA and MA from U Toronto and his PhD (supervised by Tukey) from Princeton U in 1956. He joined the one-year-old Department of Statistics at Harvard U in 1958, chairing the Department between 1969 and 1979 and continuing to teach there until 2005. In 1968 he introduced a generalization of Bayesian inference. In 1977 he was the senior author of the paper introducing the EM algorithm that dealt with the analysis of incomplete multivariate data. He was the IMS Neyman Lecturer in 1986 and the COPSS Fisher Lecturer in 1998.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.

Reference entries