Statistical Science

A Conversation with Peter Huber

Andreas Buja and Hans R. Künsch

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Peter J. Huber was born on March 25, 1934, in Wohlen, a small town in the Swiss countryside. He obtained a diploma in mathematics in 1958 and a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1961, both from ETH Zurich. His thesis was in pure mathematics, but he then decided to go into statistics. He spent 1961–1963 as a postdoc at the statistics department in Berkeley where he wrote his first and most famous paper on robust statistics, “Robust Estimation of a Location Parameter.” After a position as a visiting professor at Cornell University, he became a full professor at ETH Zurich. He worked at ETH until 1978, interspersed by visiting positions at Cornell, Yale, Princeton and Harvard. After leaving ETH, he held professor positions at Harvard University 1978–1988, at MIT 1988–1992, and finally at the University of Bayreuth from 1992 until his retirement in 1999. He now lives in Klosters, a village in the Grisons in the Swiss Alps.

Peter Huber has published four books and over 70 papers on statistics and data analysis. In addition, he has written more than a dozen papers and two books on Babylonian mathematics, astronomy and history. In 1972, he delivered the Wald lectures. He is a fellow of the IMS, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1988 he received a Humboldt Award and in 1994 an honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel. In addition to his fundamental results in robust statistics, Peter Huber made important contributions to computational statistics, strategies in data analysis, and applications of statistics in fields such as crystallography, EEGs, and human growth curves.

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Statist. Sci. Volume 23, Number 1 (2008), 120-135.

First available in Project Euclid: 7 July 2008

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Buja, Andreas; Künsch, Hans R. A Conversation with Peter Huber. Statist. Sci. 23 (2008), no. 1, 120--135. doi:10.1214/07-STS251.

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