JACOB WOLFOWITZ

March 19, 1910–July 16, 1981

BY SHELEMYAHU ZACKS

JACOB WOLFOWITZ, A GIANT among the founders of modern statistics, will always be remembered for his originality, deep thinking, clear mind, excellence in teaching, and vast contributions to statistical and information sciences. I met Wolfowitz for the first time in 1957, when he spent a sabbatical year at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. I was at the time a graduate student and a statistician at the building research station of the Technion. I had read papers of Wald and Wolfowitz before, and for me the meeting with Wolfowitz was a great opportunity to associate with a great scholar who was very kind to me and most helpful. I took his class at the Technion on statistical decision theory. Outside the classroom we used to spend time together over a cup of coffee or in his office discussing statistical problems. He gave me a lot of his time, as though I was his student. His advice on the correct approach to the theory of statistics accompanied my development as statistician for many years to come. Later we kept in touch, mostly by correspondence and in meetings of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. I saw him the last time in his office at the University of Southern Florida in Tampa, where he spent the last years



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