Joseph Naus: Father of the Scan Statistic

  • Sylvan Wallenstein
Part of the Statistics for Industry and Technology book series (SIT)


Currently, the literature on the scan statistic is vast, growing exponentially in diverse directions, with contributions by many researchers and groups. As time goes on, the early history of the problem bears telling. Joseph Naus, the father of the scan statistic, originated the modern work on the topic. The process took almost twenty years to reach maturity; I have chosen Naus (1982) as the definition of this maturity. The very name “scan statistic” does not appear to have become attached to the problem for fifteen years, and the interconnections to what is now one problem, in both statement of the problem and common methods of solution, was far from obvious originally. This chapter will not attempt a full review of all of Naus’s statistical contributions, or even a full review of his contributions as they concern the scan statistic. Instead, it will focus on a few themes that had already originated in Naus’s first twenty years of written research (1962–1982), and briefly continue with those threads to the present. Since these early themes include such general issues as applications of the scan statistic, mentoring graduate students, and specific methodological issues, the review will encompass a significant portion of Dr. Naus’s research, without making claim to being exhaustive regarding either his research or the much broader topic of research he influenced on the scan statistic.


Exact Probability Multiple Coverage Poisson Approximation Generalize Likelihood Ratio Test Fixed Grid 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvan Wallenstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community and Preventive MedicineNew YorkUSA

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