2016年7月22日 星期五

懷念 C. B. Winsten 教授,兼談 Kai Lai Chung教授、George Alfred Barnard





懷念 C. B. Winsten 教授,兼談 Kai Lai Chung教授

 C. B. Winsten 教授是我1977-78年在Essex大學的導師之一 (4位老師輪流,每一term二人,所以隔周與學生面談一小時)。他們 (和George Barnard等,Barnard 後轉到加拿大某大學)以前在牛津大學、帝國理工等校教過書。
Winsten 教授 對東方人很友善,可以傾聽我談Kenneth Clark的文明論......他會帶我們系上的師生郊遊,考慮是否用郡(county)政府的案子:Essex郡政府必須準備多少於樹苗,來補充得荷蘭病菌死掉的榆樹?
我最後悔沒將他獨創的講義留下;我回國到電信研究所面試,憑它就可以讓主考官信服我在Queuing Theory 功力及格。
Winsten 教授叫我"Ching"。有一次家教課,他桌上有一本 Kai Lai Chung教授*的概率論的著作,好像說,你們性鍾的,出大師,有為者亦若是。
他關心學生,曾寫信證明我已取得碩士,不過畢業證書必須在七月才發。(官方當然以證書為憑)
我對他的回報,只是年終時,請他參加華人學生的晚會,請他吃一頓印度餐。

*我80年代末才知道確切的中文。現在Wikipedia 有他的條目:
鍾開萊Kai Lai Chung,1917年9月19日-2009年6月2日),浙江杭州人,生於上海,卒於菲律賓羅哈斯。華裔數學家、世界著名機率專家,「機率學界學術教父」。
......1978年,鍾開萊和理論發展人Joseph Doob等人訪問中國,促進了機率論中國研究者和世界學者的交流,此後又多次回到中國開設短期課程和講座,幫助年輕的中國學生有機會到美國繼續深造。
此外,鍾開萊廣泛涉獵文學、音樂和京劇,退休後還學習了義大利語,並把一本機率論英文教材翻譯為了俄語。.....




George Alfred Barnard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
George Alfred Barnard (September 23, 1915 – August 9, 2002) was a British statistician known particularly for his work on the foundations of statistics and on quality control.

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[edit]Biography

George Barnard was born in Walthamstow, London. His father was a cabinet maker and his mother had been a domestic servant. George's siter Dorothy Wedderburn became a socioligist and eventually Principal of Royal Holloway, University of London. George attended the local grammar school, the Monoux School, and from there he won a scholarship to St John's College, Cambridge to read mathematics. In 1937 he went on to Princeton University to do graduate work on mathematical logic with Alonzo Church. Shortly before Alan Turing had gone from Cambridge to study with Church.
Barnard was on holiday in Britain when the Second World War started and he never went back to Princeton to finish his PhD. The war made Barnard into a statistician as it did for many mathematicians of his generation. In 1940 he joined an engineering firm, Plessey, as a mathematical consultant. In 1942 he moved to the Ministry of Supply to apply quality control and sampling methods to the products for which they were responsible. It was there that Barnard began doing statistics. The group he was put in charge of included Peter Armitage, Dennis Lindley and Robin Plackett. Lindley recalls that they were like students working for a doctorate with Barnard as supervisor. Abraham Wald was in a similar group in the United States. Both groups developed sequential methods of sampling.
At the end of the war, Barnard went to Imperial College London, as a lecturer, becoming a reader in 1948 and professor of mathematical statistics in 1954. In 1966 he moved to the newly createdUniversity of Essex, from which he retired in 1975. Barnard, however, kept on doing statistics until he died aged 86. Until 1981 he spent much of each year at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and after that he continued writing papers and corresponding with colleagues all over the world.
Barnard's best known contribution is probably his 1962 paper on likelihood inference but the paper he thought his best was the 1949 paper in which he first espoused the likelihood principle. He had originally described the principle in the context of optional stopping. A statement by Savage brings out how surprising the principle first seemed (Foundations of Statistical Inference, 1961, p. 75)
I learned the stopping rule principle from Professor Barnard in … 1952. Frankly, I then thought it a scandal that anyone in the profession could advance an idea so patently wrong, even as today I can scarcely believe that some people resist an idea so patently right.
Barnard’s first publication was “A New Test for 2X2 Tables” (1945). The old test was Fisher's and Fisher was not pleased! However he convinced Barnard that the new improved test was inferior to the old and the two became friends. Barnard had actually met Fisher in 1933 just before he left school. Barnard liked telling the story of their meeting. Barnard had done a survey of the political attitudes ofsixth-formers and how they had formed them. He ended up going to Fisher for advice on analyzing the results. Fisher showed him Statistical Methods for Research Workers and said, “if you read this book, you’ll find a lot of statements in it that are made without proof. You’re a mathematician, you should be able to prove them for yourself. And if you’ve done that, you’ll know statistics.” Barnard found the last piece of the puzzle nearly twenty years later—just as he was becoming vice-President of the Royal Statistical Society to Fisher’s President. The story could be a metaphor for a side of Barnard's work. He kept returning to Fisher's work, trying to clarify his recondite ideas on likelihood, fiducial probability and pivotal inference. Barnard came under Fisher's spell just as his star was fading for the younger generation of statisticians and he remained Barnard’s great hero amongst statisticians.
In an interview Barnard recalled, “my main interest above everything was politics from about 1933 until 1956. Well, that’s not true—until the end of the war it would be fair to say.” At school he proposed the motion to the school debating society that “Socialism is preferable to Capitalism." He joined the Communist Party in 1933 and he took part in anti-fascist marches in the east end of London. At Plessey he was chairman of the shop stewards.
Barnard served terms as president of three societies, the Royal Statistical Society in 1971-2, the Operational Research Society in 1962-4 and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 1970-1. He was awarded the Guy Medal in Gold by the Royal Statistical Society in 1975.
In May 1986 Barnard was awarded an honorary degree by the Open University as Doctor of the University.[citation needed]
George Barnard was very open-minded and very well liked. Lindley wrote in The Statistician, “We have lost a great statistician and a delightful human being. “

[edit]Publications

There is a bibliography (containing 109 articles) up to 1989 in
  • Seymour Geisser et al. (eds) Bayesian and Likelihood Methods in Statistics and Econometrics : Essays in Honor of George A. Barnard, North-Holland 1990.
This contains a review of Barnard's work by Lindley. The volume was one of a series honouring Bayesian heroes. Barnard was not a Bayesian but he was a "great guy"!
In 1990 he made a book out of manuscripts left by his friend Egon Pearson
  • E. S. Pearson (1990) ‘Student’, A Statistical Biography of William Sealy Gosset, Edited and Augmented by R. L. Plackett with the Assistance of G. A. Barnard, Oxford: University Press.
After 1990 Barnard published little, although he kept up his letter writing. In 1996 however he produced a review of Barndorff-Nielsen and Cox
  • Review of Inference and Asymptotics. by O. E. Barndorff-Nielsen; D. R. Cox Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A, 159, (1996), 178-179.
After observing that, “A great virtue of the book is that it raises perhaps as many questions as it answers,” Barnard went on to give his answer one of those questions.

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Out of Sight, out of Mind

Frank Kermode's review of Ben Rogers's A.J. Ayer (LRB, 15 July) prompts me to enquire whether anyone knows why Ayer never met Wittgenstein. When I attended Wittgenstein's 'Conversation Class' – three hours, three times a week – in 1933, Margaret Masterman, Richard Braithwaite's wife, was attending on her husband's behalf, after he had been banished for writing a piece in Cambridge Essays which dared to attempt an explanation of Wittgenstein's ideas, in the course of saying it was the most important work in philosophy then current in Cambridge. It is not difficult to guess what Gilbert Ryle might have said to Ayer, but specific confirmation, if it were available, would be interesting.
George Barnard
Brightlingsea, Essex
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