Celebrating Erich Lehmann's 80th Birthday
By Peter Bickel
Professor Emeritus Erich Lehmann turned eighty on November 19, 1997. The colleagues, students, and friends who had feted him with a published Festschrift on his 65th birthday and a book of testimonials on his 75th birthday, felt that this was not an occasion to be missed. Professor Kjell Doksum and I, with great assistance from Debbie Haaxman and Judey Miller, organized a full day of pre-birthday celebration for Erich on November 10, 1997, beginning with a series of five lectures given in the Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center. The talks were well attended by over one hundred people who came from as far away as Australia. The audience included colleagues, collaborators and friends, with many faculty from Berkeley, Davis and Stanford, and students from the department. The speakers reviewed selectively, and with some reference to their own work, Erich's far ranging contributions to statistics. The speakers in the order in which they spoke and with their topics were:
1) David Freedman (UCB) Issues in model construction
2) Kjell Doksum (UCB) Stochastic orderings and their applications
3) Juliet Shaffer (UCB) Multiple comparisons and simultaneous inference
4) Willem R. van Zwet (University of Leiden) Non-parametric and robust inference
5) Peter Bickel (UCB) Early contributions to general theory of inference
At the end of the talks, David Aldous, Chair of the Department, presented Erich with a small gift from his friends - a gift certificate for compact discs, a surefire present for a man known to love music at least as much as he loves statistics. Erich was then further surprised by the announcement of the establishment of the Erich Lehmann Fund. The fund is designed to support and enhance the academic experience of graduate students at Berkeley and as of December 15, 1997, $9,500 in gifts, including industrial matching contributions have been received. Information for making contributions is given at the end of this article.
Later that evening, a cocktail hour and dinner were held in the Faculty Club. The dinner was attended by more than eighty people, including most of the audience of the talks, as well as less mathematically inclined family and friends. After the dinner hour, a number of Erich's friends gave reminiscences of their contacts with Erich and bestowed upon him their numerous good wishes. They included Al Bowker, former Berkeley Chancellor and Stanford Chair of Statistics, Joe Hodges, colleague and longtime collaborator of Erich's, Richard Olshen, Stanford colleague and former undergraduate at Berkeley, Fritz Scholz, a former student currently at Boeing Aerospace, and Tore Schweder, a former student of David Brillinger's and currently in statistics at Oslo, who spoke of Erich's friendship and hospitality to the Norwegian students at Berkeley. John Kimmel of Springer Publishing presented Erich with a copy of Neyman from Life by Constance Reid, reprinted in paperback by Springer, on behalf of Constance Reid and Springer. Erich was instrumental in the writing of this book.
Charles Stein, Erich's major collaborator (along with Joe Hodges and Henry Scheffé) at our request, sent some comments in writing that but for a glitch in travel plans he would have given himself. Henry Scheffé was restrained from attending this occasion by a higher power as he died in 1976. It seems fitting to reproduce the comments of two of Erich Lehmann's three major collaborators who could be with us, both of whom are great figures in statistics in their own right. The comments below reflect the day and the man, a truly important thinker in our field and a wonderful, broadly interested and greatly caring human being. I count myself as very fortunate to have been first his student, then his colleague, collaborator and friend these many years.
Erich Lehmann Fund in Statistics
Department of Statistics
University of California
367 Evans Hall #3860
Berkeley, CA 94720-3860
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