Jul 14, 2015

IMS Fellows: a little history

In the last issue, we announced the latest additions to the prestigious list of IMS Fellows, now numbering 1,098. Paul Shaman delves deeper into the history of IMS Fellows, and reveals some interesting characters among them:


At its founding in 1935, the IMS constitution stipulated:


(Ann. Math. Statist., Vol. 6, p. 227).

Initially, in 1935, three people, Burton H. Camp, Arthur H. Crathorne, and Harold Hotelling, were named Fellows. To date 1,098 people have received the designation of Fellow. They are a diverse group, including statisticians, probabilists, mathematicians, economists, engineers, geneticists, psychologists, actuaries, and even a US Army Major General.

IMS Fellows have received multiple honors. Five have been named Nobel Laureates and one has received the Abel Prize. Fourteen have received the National Medal of Science, one the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and two the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Five Fellows have been knighted. Thirty-five have been elected to the Royal Society, ten to the British Academy, and 17 to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Seventy-eight have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 15 to the National Academy of Engineering, five to the National Academy of Medicine, 96 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 17 to the American Philosophical Society. Many have been elected to other academies, including the Australian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of Canada, the French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences), the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy.

Each year a new slate of Fellows is chosen. Nominations for Fellowship are considered by the IMS Fellows Committee. Currently, candidates for Fellowship should be members of IMS on December 1 of the year preceding their nomination, and should have been members of the IMS for at least two years. At present, the Fellows Committee has twelve members, each serving a three-year term. The terms are staggered, so that four new members are designated each year.

Prior to 1943, 40 people had been named Fellows. By 1970, 307 Fellows had been designated.

The number of Fellows named yearly has varied considerably. Since 1971 the minimum has been seven, and the maximum an unusually high 38 (in 1984). The median for this period is 17, and the first and third quartiles are 13 and 20.5, respectively. If the 1984 figure is discarded, the remaining 44 counts are nicely described by a normal distribution with mean 16.86 and standard deviation 5.17. The numbers for 2011–2015 have been 18, 17, 19, 9, and 17.

Interesting Fellows

There are interesting facts about some of the Fellows. James A. Shohat was an uncle of composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Harold Hotelling’s second wife was a descendant of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to the US national anthem, and of Sir Francis Wyatt, the first English royal governor of Virginia. Patrick Billingsley was a stage, screen, and television actor. He starred in numerous productions at Court Theatre and Body Politic Theatre in Chicago. His credits included eight movies—among them The Fury, Somewhere in Time, and The Untouchables—and a number of television shows. Carl-Erik Särndal has several times set world records in the high jump for masters in his age category. On January 20, 2013, he cleared 1.52 meters, bettering the mark of the previous record holder in the age 75 and older category by 11 centimeters. The Major General was Leslie E. Simon, who served as Director of the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Simon was well-known as the author of the book German Research in World War II. He also wrote An Engineer’s Manual of Statistical Methods, published in 1941 by Wiley. Simon was named an IMS Fellow in 1943, became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1956, was the first recipient, in 1948, of the Shewhart Medal from the American Society of Quality, and received the Wilks Award from the American Statistical Association in 1966.

New IMS Fellows website launching soon

A website devoted to the accomplishments and biographies of the IMS Fellows will be launched soon. The IMS Scientific Legacy Fund supports the development and maintenance of web pages for the site. Contributions may be made at https://secure.imstat.org/secure/orders/donations.asp.

This article was amended on 21 August 2015 to include two more names. If you know there is someone missing from this list, please tell us!

Read more about our Fellows

You can read a more extensive list of the achievements of Fellows of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics below.

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Ragnar A. Frisch 1969

Kenneth J. Arrow 1972

Tjalling C. Koopmans 1975

Milton Friedman 1976

Trygve Haavelmo 1989

Abel Prize

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan 2007


Roy G. D. Allen 1966

David R. Cox 1985

Maurice G. Kendall 1974

John F. C. Kingman 1985

Adrian F. M. Smith 2011

Medal for Merit

John von Neumann 1947

Medal of Freedom

John von Neumann 1956

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Milton Friedman 1988

National Medal of Science

Sewall G. Wright 1966

Jerzy Neyman 1968

William Feller 1969

John W. Tukey 1973

George B. Dantzig 1975

Joseph L. Doob 1979

Milton Friedman 1988

Samuel Karlin 1989

C. R. Rao 2001

Kenneth J. Arrow 2004

Bradley Efron 2005

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan 2010

David H. Blackwell 2014 (posthumously)

Thomas Kailath 2014

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

W. Edwards Deming 1987

Kyoto Prize

Hirotugu Akaike 2006

MacArthur Fellowship

Peter J. Bickel 1984

Persi W. Diaconis 1982

David L. Donoho 1991

Bradley Efron 1983

Susan A. Murphy 2013

Shaw Prize

David L. Donoho 2013

Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics

David L. Donoho 2010

Wolf Prize in Physics

Benoit Mandelbrot 1993

Australian Academy of Science

Joseph M. Gani 1976 Fellow

Peter G. Hall 1987 Fellow

Christopher C. Heyde 1977 Fellow

Henry O. Lancaster 1961 Fellow

Edwin J. G. Pitman 1954 Fellow

Terence P. Speed 2001 Fellow

Matthew P. Wand 2008 Fellow

Alan H. Welsh 2007 Fellow

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

Christopher C. Heyde 2003 Fellow

The Royal Society of Canada

Martin T. Barlow 1998 Fellow

David R. Brillinger 1985 Fellow

David R. Cox 2010 Fellow

Miklos Csörgő 1989 Fellow

Donald A. Dawson 1987 Fellow

Stephen E. Fienberg 2004 Fellow

Donald A. S. Fraser 1967 Fellow

V. P. Godambe 2002 Fellow

Agnes M. Herzberg 2008 Fellow

John D. Kalbfleisch 1994 Fellow

Jerald F. Lawless 2000 Fellow

Neal N. Madras 2002 Fellow

Edwin A. Perkins 1988 Fellow

Jonnagadda N. K. Rao 1991 Fellow

Nancy M. Reid 2001 Fellow

Jeffrey Rosenthal 2012 Fellow

Gordon Slade 2000 Fellow

David Sprott 1975 Fellow

Mary E. Thompson 2006 Fellow

Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters

O. E. Barndorff-Nielsen 1980 Member

David R. Cox 1983 Foreign Member

Anders H. Hald Member

Søren Johansen 2002 Member

Steffen L. Lauritzen 2008 Foreign Member

Thomas Mikosch 2004 Member

Michael Sørenson 2006 Member

Académie des sciences

Georges Darmois 1955 Member

Paul Deheuvels 1994 Correspondent, 2000 Member

David L. Donoho 2009 Foreign Associate

Joseph L. Doob 1975 Foreign Associate

Marie-Joseph Kampé de Fériet 1954 Correspondent

Jean-François Le Gall 2013 Member

Gilles Pisier 2002 Member

Michael S. Waterman 2005 Foreign Associate

Indian Academy of Sciences

Krishna B. Athreya 1974 Fellow

Raj R. Bahadur 1975 Fellow

Arup Bose 2006 Fellow

Probal Chaudhuri 2003 Fellow

Jayanta K. Ghosh 1990 Fellow

Thomas Kailath 2013 Honorary Fellow

S. K. Mitra 1990 Fellow

Rahul Mukerjee 2001 Fellow

B. L. S. Prakasa-Rao 1992 Fellow

C. R. Rao 1974 Fellow

S. S. Shrikhande 1974 Fellow

S. R. S. Varadhan 2004 Honorary Fellow

Indian National Science Academy

Raj R. Bahadur 1959 Fellow

Arup Bose 2007 Fellow

Probal Chaudhuri 2009 Fellow

Somesh Das Gupta 1992 Fellow

Jayanta K. Ghosh 1982 Fellow

Thomas Kailath 2014 Foreign Fellow

Gopinath Kallianpur 1979 Fellow

S. K. Mitra 1981 Fellow

Rahul Mukerjee 2004 Fellow

Gilles I. Pisier 2011 Foreign Fellow

B. L. S. Prakasa-Rao 1984 Fellow

C. R. Rao 1954 Fellow

Samarendra N. Roy 1946 Foreign Fellow

S. S. Shrikhande 1963 Fellow

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Peter J. Bickel 1995 Foreign Member

Jan de Leeuw 1989 Corresponding Member

W. Th. Frank den Hollander 2005 Member

Richard D. Gill 1999 Member

Mark Kac 1981 Foreign Member

Johannes H. B. Kemperman 1964 Member

Harry Kesten 1980 Corresponding Member

Tjalling C. Koopmans 1950 Corresponding Member

David van Dantzig 1949 Member

Sara A. van de Geer 2006 Corresponding Member

Aad W. van der Vaart 2009 Member

Bartel L. van der Waerden 1949 Member

Willem R. van Zwet 1979 Member

John von Neumann 1950 Foreign Member

The Royal Society

Alexander C. Aitken 1936 Fellow

David J. Aldous 1994 Fellow

Kenneth J. Arrow 2006 Foreign Member

Martin T. Barlow 2005 Fellow

Maurice S. Bartlett 1961 Fellow

Julian E. Besag 2004 Fellow

George E. P. Box 1985 Fellow

David R. Cox 1973 Fellow

Henry E. Daniels 1980 Fellow

Donald A. Dawson 2010 Fellow

Peter J. Donnelly 2006 Fellow

David J. Finney 1955 Fellow

Peter J. Green 2003 Fellow

Geoffrey R. Grimmett 2014 Fellow

Peter G. Hall 2000 Fellow

John M. Hammersley 1976 Fellow

Thomas Kailath 2009 Foreign Member

David G. Kendall 1964 Fellow

John F. C. Kingman 1971 Fellow

Steffen L. Lauritzen 2011 Fellow

Terence J. Lyons 2002 Fellow

Peter McCullagh 1994 Fellow

Jerzy Neyman 1979 Foreign Member

Egon S. Pearson 1966 Fellow

Edwin A. Perkins 2007 Fellow

H. Vincent Poor 2014 Foreign Member

C. R. Rao 1967 Fellow

Bernard W. Silverman 1997 Fellow

Adrian F. M. Smith 2001 Fellow

Terence P. Speed 2013 Fellow

Simon Tavaré 2011 Fellow

John W. Tukey 1991 Foreign Member

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan 1998 Fellow

Peter Whittle 1978 Fellow

Sewall G. Wright 1963 Foreign Member

The British Academy

Roy G. D. Allen 1952 Fellow

Kenneth J. Arrow 1976 Corresponding Fellow

David J. Bartholomew 1987 Fellow

David R. Cox 1997 Honorary Fellow

James Durbin 2001 Fellow

Maurice G. Kendall1970Fellow

Oliver B. Linton 2008 Fellow

Peter C. B. Phillips 2008 Corresponding Fellow

Donald B. Rubin 2009 Corresponding Fellow

Peter M. Robinson 2000 Fellow

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

John Aitchison 1968 Fellow

Alexander C. Aitken 1925 Fellow

Rosemary A. Bailey 2015 Fellow

O. E. Barndorff-Nielsen 2001 Corresponding Fellow

David R. Cox 2013 Honorary Fellow

David J. Finney 1955 Fellow

Anders H. Hald 2001 Corresponding Fellow

Peter G. Hall 2002 Corresponding Fellow

Terence J. Lyons 1988 Fellow

H. Vincent Poor 2013 Corresponding Fellow

Maurice H. Quenouille 1952 Fellow

Nancy M. Reid 2015 Corresponding Fellow

Brian D. Ripley 1990 Fellow

S. D. Silvey 1967 Fellow

Donald M. Titterington 1991 Fellow

John Wishart 1931 Fellow

Sewall G. Wright 1951 Honorary Fellow

The Royal Society of Literature

Alexander C. Aitken 1964 Fellow

National Academy of Sciences

David J. Aldous 2010 Foreign Associate

Theodore W. Anderson, Jr. 1976 Member

Kenneth J. Arrow 1968 Member

Maurice S. Bartlett 1993 Foreign Associate

James O. Berger 2003 Member

Joseph Berkson 1979 Member

Peter J. Bickel 1986 Member

David H. Blackwell 1965 Member

Raj Chandra Bose 1976 Member

Leo Breiman 2001 Member

Lawrence D. Brown 1990 Member

Donald L. Burkholder 1988 Member

Herman Chernoff 1980 Member

William G. Cochran 1974 Member

David R. Cox 1988 Foreign Associate

Gertrude M. Cox 1975 Member

Harald Cramér 1984 Foreign Associate

George B. Dantzig 1971 Member

Persi W. Diaconis 1995 Member

David L. Donoho 1998 Member

Joseph L. Doob 1957 Member

Richard T. Durrett 2007 Member

Eugene B. Dynkin 1985 Member

Bradley Efron 1986 Member

William Feller 1960 Member

Stephen E. Fienberg1999 Member

Milton Friedman 1973 Member

Donald Geman 2015 Member

Stuart Geman 2011 Member

Leo Goodman 1974 Member

Ulf Grenander 1996 Member

Peter G. Hall 2013 Foreign Associate

Morris H. Hansen 1976 Member

Theodore E. Harris 1988 Member

Wassily Hoeffding 1976 Member

Harold Hotelling 1970 Member

Dunham Jackson 1935 Member

Iain M. Johnstone 2005 Member

Michael I. Jordan 2010 Member

Mark Kac 1965 Member

Thomas Kailath 2000 Member

Samuel Karlin 1972 Member

Harry Kesten 1983 Member

Jack C. Kiefer 1975 Member

John F. C. Kingman 2007 Foreign Associate

Tjalling C. Koopmans 1969 Member

Gregory F. Lawler 2013 Member

Erich L. Lehmann 1978 Member

Thomas M. Liggett 2008 Member

Benoit B. Mandelbrot 1987 Member

Jacob Marschak 1973 Member

Frederick Mosteller 1974 Member

Charles M. Newman 2004 Member

Jerzy Neyman 1963 Member

H. Vincent Poor 2011 Member

Adrian E. Raftery 2009 Member

C. R. Rao 1995 Member

Herbert E. Robbins 1974 Member

Murray Rosenblatt 1984 Member

Gian-Carlo Rota 1982 Member

Donald B. Rubin 2010 Member

Lawrence A. Shepp 1989 Member

David O. Siegmund 2002 Member

David Slepian 1977 Member

Frank Spitzer 1981 Member

Charles M. Stein 1975 Member

Charles J. Stone 1993 Member

Robert J. Tibshirani 2012 Member

John W. Tukey 1961 Member

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan 1995 Member

John von Neumann 1937 Member

Grace Wahba 2000 Member

Michael S. Waterman 2001 Member

Ruth Williams 2012 Member

Jacob Wolfowitz 1974 Member

Wing Hung Wong 2009 Member

Sewall G. Wright 1934 Member

Bin Yu 2014 Member

National Academy of Engineering

Thomas M. Cover 1995 Member

George B. Dantzig 1985 Member

W. Edwards Deming 1983 Member

Donald P. Gaver 2009 Member

Peter W. Glynn 2012 Member

J. Michael Harrison 2008 Member

Donald L. Iglehart 1999 Member

Michael I. Jordan 2010 Member

Gerald J. Lieberman 1987 Member

Howard Raiffa 2005 Member

David Slepian 1976 Member

Arthur F. Veinott, Jr. 1986 Member

Michael S. Waterman 2012 Member

C. F. Jeff Wu 2004 Member

Moshe Zakai 1989 Foreign Associate

National Academy of Medicine

Kenneth J. Arrow 1974 Member

Paul Meier 1992 Member

Frederick Mosteller 1971 Member

Susan Murphy 2014 Member

Lawrence A. Shepp 1992 Member

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David J. Aldous 2004 Member

Theodore W. Anderson, Jr. 1974 Member

Kenneth J. Arrow 1959 Member

Raj R. Bahadur 1986 Member

Gérard Ben Arous 2015 Member

Peter J. Bickel 1986 Member

Patrick Billingsley 1986 Member

David H. Blackwell 1969 Member

George E. P. Box 1974 Member

Leo Breiman 1999 Member

David R. Brillinger 1993 Member

Lawrence D. Brown 2013 Member

Donald L. Burkholder 1992 Member

Herman Chernoff 1974 Member

William G. Cochran 1971 Member

Thomas M. Cover 2003 Member

David R. Cox 1974 Foreign Honorary Member

Harald Cramér 1961 Foreign Honorary Member

George B. Dantzig 1975 Member

Arthur P. Dempster 1997 Member

Persi W. Diaconis 1989 Member

David L. Donoho 1992 Member

Joseph L. Doob 1965 Member

Richard T. Durrett 2002 Member

Aryeh Dvoretzky 1985 Foreign Honorary Member

Eugene B. Dynkin 1978 Member

Bradley Efron 1983 Member

William Feller 1958 Member

Stephen E. Fienberg 2007 Member

Irving Fisher 1912 Member

David A. Freedman 1991 Member

Milton Friedman 1959 Member

Ragnar A. K. Frisch 1960 Foreign Honorary Member

Hilda Geiringer 1955 Member

Irving J. Good 1985 Member

Leo Goodman 1973 Member

Ulf Grenander 1995 Member

Louis Guttman 1975 Foreign Honorary Member

Trygve Haavelmo 1976 Foreign Honorary Member

Morris H. Hansen 1985 Member

Wassily Hoeffding 1985 Member

Peter J. Huber 1987 Member

Edward V. Huntington 1913 Member

Dunham Jackson 1915 Member

Iain M. Johnstone 2003 Member

Michael I. Jordan 2011 Member

Mark Kac 1959 Member

Joseph B. Kadane 2010 Member

Thomas Kailath 1994 Member

Samuel Karlin 1970 Member

Truman L. Kelley 1931 Member

Harry Kesten 1999 Member

Jack C. Kiefer 1972 Member

Tjalling C. Koopmans 1960 Member

William H. Kruskal 1973 Member

Thomas G. Kurtz 2005 Member

Gregory F. Lawler 2005 Member

Lucien M. Le Cam 1976 Member

Erich L. Lehmann 1975 Member

Thomas M. Liggett 2012 Member

Benoit B. Mandelbrot 1982 Member

Jacob Marschak 1961 Member

Peter McCullagh 2002 Member

Paul Meier 1980 Member

Lincoln E. Moses 1981 Member

Frederick Mosteller 1954 Member

Charles M. Newman 2006 Member

Jerzy Neyman 1976 Member

H. Vincent Poor 2005 Member

John W. Pratt 1988 Member

Adrian E. Raftery 2003 Member

Howard Raiffa 1968 Member

C. R. Rao 1975 Foreign Honorary Member

Herbert E. Robbins 1975 Member

Gian-Carlo Rota 1963 Member

Donald B. Rubin 1993 Member

Laurent Saloff-Coste 2011 Member

Lawrence A. Shepp 1993 Member

David O. Siegmund 1994 Member

Leslie E. Simon 1956 Member

David Slepian 1990 Member

Stephen M. Stigler 1987 Member

John W. Tukey 1964 Member

S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan 1988 Member

Richard E. von Mises 1944 Member

John von Neumann 1944 Member

Grace Wahba 1997 Member

W. Allen Wallis 1964 Member

Michael S. Waterman 1995 Member

Samuel S. Wilks 1963 Member

Ruth Williams 2009 Member

Herman O. A. Wold 1978 Foreign Honorary Member

Jacob Wolfowitz 1970 Member

Sewall G. Wright 1948 Member

Bin Yu 2013 Member

Marvin Zelen 1991 Member

American Philosophical Society

Kenneth J. Arrow 1968 Member

David H. Blackwell 1990 Member

David R. Cox 1990 International Member

Persi W. Diaconis 2005 Member

William Feller1966Member

Milton Friedman 1957 Member

Leo Goodman 1976 Member

Robert Henderson 1927 Member

Edward V. Huntington 1933 Member

Mark Kac 1969 Member

Samuel Karlin 1995 Member

Benoit B. Mandelbrot 2004 Member

Frederick Mosteller 1961 Member

Stephen M. Stigler 2006 Member

John W. Tukey 1962 Member

Samuel S. Wilks 1948 Member

Sewall G. Wright 1932 Member


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