Jacob Wolfowitz


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(1910–81; b. Warsaw, Poland; d. Tampa, FL)

American statistician. Leaving Poland, Wolfowitz joined his father in New York when he was ten. He graduated in mathematics from City College (now City U) New York in 1932, spending the next ten years as a mathematics teacher. During this period he worked on non-parametric tests (he coined the word ‘non-parametric’) and began his collaboration with Wald; the Wald–Wolfowitz test was published in 1940. He also made pioneering contributions to dynamic programming. He received his PhD in 1942 from NYU. After a period of war-related research, Wolfowitz held posts at several institutions, including Cornell U (1951), U Illinois at Urbana (1970), and U South Florida in Tampa (1978). Elected to membership of the NAS and the AAAS, he was President of the IMS in 1959, and was its Rietz Lecturer in 1957 and Wald Lecturer in 1965.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.

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