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Charles Stein Book Giveaway

September 24, 2014 - 12:00pm

On Wednesday, the Department hosted an impromptu giveaway of books received from one of our emeritus faculty, Professor Charles Stein.

Over 20 boxes of books were donated from Professor Stein's collection, and an email invitation went out to all Statistics students, faculty, and visitors. Despite having very little notice, a definite crowd was waiting outside the doors before the giveaway began, and the photos in our Gallery document the terrific popularity of these volumes!

A member of the Statistics Department faculty since 1953, Charles M. Stein is considered one of the most original thinkers making fundamental contributions to probability and statistics. Stein's method, a startling technique for deriving probability approximations, first appeared about 30 years ago. It provides a tool for obtaining such approximations in a wide variety of situations, including those in which dependence plays an important part; in contrast to many approaches, his method delivers estimates for the error in the approximation, and not just a proof of convergence in some limit. He is also is known for Stein's paradox in decision theory, discovered in 1955, a phenomenon demonstrated when three or more parameters are estimated simultaneously and it is shown that there exist combined estimators more accurate on average than any method that handles the parameters separately.

The Department of Statistics is deeply indebted to Professor Stein and his family for making this gift of the wide-ranging and international library of works amassed during his remarkable career.