Aug 28, 2015

Obituary: Gunnar Kulldorff, 1928–2015


Gunnar Kulldorff, a Fellow and long time member of IMS, passed away in Umeå, Sweden, on June 25, 2015. Gunnar was born in Malmö, Sweden, in 1928. He studied at Lund University and obtained his PhD in 1961. His dissertation, on the topic Contributions to the Theory of Estimation from Grouped and Partially Grouped Samples, under the supervision of Professor Carl-Erik Quensel, was a fine piece of scholarly work.

In 1965 Gunnar became one of the first professors at the newly established University of Umeå, and soon thereafter he was elected the Dean of the School of Science. Later—twice—he became the President of the Swedish Statistical Association, and in 1989–91, he was the President of the International Statistical Institute. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Gunnar worked tirelessly to establish Statistical Science in the Baltic States, and in 2006 Gunnar was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Vilnius University.

Gunnar’s numerous papers on optimum combinations of selected order statistics from various well known parametric distributions to draw inference on population parameters will long be remembered for their novelty and usefulness. Gunnar’s last article, ‘Statistical Science is International—And Survey Statistics is Cool and Hot’, published in Lithuanian Journal of Statistics in 2014, presents a very interesting history of international cooperation in statistics, the formation of statistical associations and their activities in the world and in the Nordic countries.

Written by Peter Jagers, Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg, and Bimal Sinha, UMBC


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