Statistical Science

A Conversation with Jeff Wu

Hugh A. Chipman and V. Roshan Joseph

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Chien-Fu Jeff Wu was born January 15, 1949, in Taiwan. He earned a B.Sc. in Mathematics from National Taiwan University in 1971, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976. He has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1977–1988), the University of Waterloo (1988–1993), the University of Michigan (1995–2003; department chair 1995–8) and currently is the Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics and Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is known for his work on the convergence of the EM algorithm, resampling methods, nonlinear least squares, sensitivity testing and industrial statistics, including design of experiments, robust parameter design and computer experiments, and has been credited for coining the term “data science” as early as 1997.

Jeff has received several awards, including the COPSS Presidents’ Award (1987), the Shewhart Medal (2008), the R. A. Fisher Lectureship (2011) and the Deming Lecturer Award (2012). He is an elected member of Academia Sinica (2000) and the National Academy of Engineering (2004), and has received many other awards and honors including an honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo.

Jeff has supervised 45 Ph.D. students to date, many of whom are active researchers in the statistical sciences. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and two books. He was the second Editor of Statistica Sinica (1993–96). Jeff married Susan Chang in 1979, and they have two children, Emily and Justin.

This conversation took place in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 21, 2015.

Article information

Statist. Sci. Volume 31, Number 4 (2016), 624-636.

First available in Project Euclid: 19 January 2017

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Industrial statistics data science experimental design computer experiment EM algorithm resampling methods


Chipman, Hugh A.; Joseph, V. Roshan. A Conversation with Jeff Wu. Statist. Sci. 31 (2016), no. 4, 624--636. doi:10.1214/16-STS574.

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