Statistical Science

Bradley Efron: A Conversation with Good Friends

Susan Holmes

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Bradley Efron is Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics at Stanford University. He works on a combination of theoretical and applied topics, including empirical Bayes, survival analysis, exponential families, bootstrap and jackknife methods and confidence intervals. Most of his applied work has originated in biomedical consulting projects at the Stanford Medical School, mixed in with a few papers concerning astronomy and physics. Even his theoretical papers usually begin with specific applied problems. All three of the interviewers here have been close scientific collaborators.

Brad was born in St. Paul, Minnestora, May 1938, to Esther and Miles Efron, Jewish-Russian immigrants. A Merit Scholarship, in the program's inaugural year, brought him to Caltech, graduating in Mathematics in 1960. He arrived at Stanford that Fall, eventually gaining his Ph.D., under the direction of Rupert Miller and Herb Solomon, in the Statistics Department, whose faculty also included Charles Stein, Herman Chernoff, Manny Parzen, Lincoln Moses and Ingram Olkin. Brad has lived at Stanford since 1960, with sabbaticals at Harvard, Imperial College and Berkeley. He has held several administrative positions in the university: Chair of Statistics, Associate Dean of Science, Chairman of the University Advisory Board and Chair of the Faculty Senate. He is currently Chair of the Undergraduate Program in Applied Mathematics.

Honors include doctorates from Chicago, Madrid and Oslo, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship, membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, fellowship in the IMS and ASA, the Wilks Medal, Parzen Prize, the newly inaugurated Rao Prize and the outstanding statistician award from the Chicago ASA chapter. He has been the Rietz, Wald, and Fisher lecturers and holds the Max H. Stein endowed chair as Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford. Professional service includes Theory and Methods Editor of JASA and President of the IMS. Currently he is President-Elect of the American Statistical Association, becoming President in 2004.

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Statist. Sci. Volume 18, Issue 2 (2003), 268-281.

First available in Project Euclid: 19 September 2003

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Holmes, Susan. Bradley Efron: A Conversation with Good Friends. Statist. Sci. 18 (2003), no. 2, 268--281. doi:10.1214/ss/1063994981.

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