Feb 16, 2015

Obituary: Steve Arnold 1944–2014

steve arnold

Steven Ferris Arnold, age 70, of State College, PA, died December 6, 2014, at his residence. Steve was Professor Emeritus of Statistics at Penn State University. Steve was a 1966 graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., summa cum laude, and earned a MS (1967) and PhD in Statistics from Stanford University in 1970, with Professor Ingram Olkin as advisor. Before joining the Statistics Department at Penn State, he was an associate professor of mathematics at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.

After coming to Penn State in 1976, Steve wrote two textbooks, The Theory of Linear Models and Multivariate Analysis, Wiley, 1981, and Mathematical Statistics, Prentice-Hall, 1990. He was also a co-author with A. Stuart and K. Ord of Kendall’s Advanced Theory of Statistics, Volume 2A, Classical Inference and the Linear Model, Wiley 1998, a widely cited treatise in the field. Professor Arnold’s publications made significant contributions to multivariate analysis, linear models, patterned covariance matrices, repeated measures, and invariance.

He was active in campus life, serving on the Academic Standards Committee and the Undergraduate Education Committee of the Penn State Faculty Senate. In 1994 he proposed and served as the founding faculty member in charge of the new undergraduate major in Statistics, guided it through the Faculty Senate for approval, and directed the program for eight years. For many years he served as the Statistics Department representative to the Operations Research Program and to the Schreyer Honors College. He also served as a consultant on many projects, including the Diabetic Foot Clinic in State College, and the Center for Locomotion Studies at Penn State. He retired from Penn State University in June 2013.

Professor Arnold supervised 11 PhD students in statistics, many master’s students, and served on multiple PhD committees in a wide variety of fields, including agriculture, engineering, mathematics and physiology.

Born March 8, 1944, in Milwaukee, Wis., he was the son of David Rudd and Jean Gebhart Arnold. He is survived by his wife of nearly fifty years, Rana (McMurray) Arnold; two sons, Timothy and his wife, Jules, of Frankfort, KY., and Christopher, of Quincy, Mass.; two sisters, Nancy Wilson and her husband, Grady, of Carrolton, TX, Judith Connor and her husband, Jerry, of Winnetka, IL.; and two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Vivian, of Frankfort KY; his paternal uncle and aunt, Hugh and Phyllis Arnold, of Greely, Colo.; and his maternal aunt, Ruth Belmour, of San Francisco, Calif.; and many other relations around the world.

Well-read, Steve had a remarkable breadth of knowledge and interests. He could speak intelligently on topics from Faulkner to Fidelio to foreign affairs. Steve’s ready wit made such conversations not only illuminating, but enjoyable. His intelligence and sense of humor will be missed. Steve had a special love of basketball and tennis, playing each until he was no longer able to be competitive. He remained an avid fan, and never passed on an opportunity to take in a basketball game or a tennis match. One of the things he enjoyed most was watching a good, competitive game.

Written by James L Rosenberger, Professor of Statistics, and William L Harkness, Professor Emeritus of Statistics, both former department heads at Penn State

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