Statistical Science

A Conversation with Michael Woodroofe

Moulinath Banerjee and Bodhisattva Sen

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Michael Woodroofe was born in Corvallis on March 17, 1940, and grew up in a small town called Athena in Oregon. Michael graduated from McEwen High School in 1958 and entered Stanford University, from which he graduated four years later with a major in Mathematics. He earned his masters degree and Ph.D. from the mathematics department at the University of Oregon in 1964 and 1965, respectively.

Michael Woodroofe has had a distinguished career and is widely recognized as a preeminent statistician and probabilist. He has broad interests and has made deep and significant contributions in many areas in statistical inference and probability, including biased sampling, shape-restricted inference, sequential analysis, nonlinear renewal theory, modern nonparametric inference, statistics in astronomy and central limit theory for stationary processes. He has published more than 100 research articles, written a SIAM monograph and authored a book. He is a former Editor of the Annals of Statistics, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Michael’s professional positions have included being on the faculty of the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he has been on faculty for more than 40 years. He was a founding member of the Department of Statistics at the University Michigan in 1969, retaining a joint appointment with Mathematics, and served as the Chair of the Department of Statistics during 1977–1983. In addition, he has held visiting positions at Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Rutgers University.

Michael and his wife, Fran Woodroofe, reside in Ann Arbor. He is the father of one daughter, Caroline, and two sons, Russell and Blake.

Article information

Statist. Sci., Volume 31, Number 3 (2016), 433-441.

First available in Project Euclid: 27 September 2016

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Biased sampling nonlinear renewal theory sequential analysis shape-restricted inference statistics in astronomy


Banerjee, Moulinath; Sen, Bodhisattva. A Conversation with Michael Woodroofe. Statist. Sci. 31 (2016), no. 3, 433--441. doi:10.1214/15-STS545.

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  • Groeneboom, P. (1985). Estimating a monotone density. In Proceedings of the Berkeley Conference in Honor of Jerzy Neyman and Jack Kiefer, Vol. II (Berkeley, Calif., 1983). Wadsworth Statist./Probab. Ser. 539–555. Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.
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