David Blackwell, 1919–2010: An explorer in mathematics and statistics by Peter Bickel

Friday, November 13, 2020

We are delighted to share this remembrance of David Blackwell written by Peter Bickel for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (see linked PDF file below). 

David Blackwell was a faculty member in our department from 1954 until his retirement in 1988. He made landmark contributions that bear his name to an impressive range of areas in Statistics and Mathematics, including measure theory, renewal theory, sequential analysis, game theory, and decision theory. He was the first Black tenured faculty member at UC Berkeley and the first Black inducted member of the National Academy of Sciences. For those that were fortunate to know him, he was a wonderful and inspiring colleague, mentor, and friend.

About his explorations: “Basically, I’m not interested in doing research and I never have been. I’m interested in understanding and that’s quite a different thing.”



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