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Ingram Olkin (1924–2016): An Appreciation for a People Person

  • Simo PuntanenEmail author
  • George P. H. Styan
Conference paper
Part of the Contributions to Statistics book series (CONTRIB.STAT.)

Abstract

Ingram Olkin, Professor Emeritus of Statistics and Education at Stanford University, Master of multivariate statistical analysis, linear algebra, inequalities, majorization, and meta-analysis, passed away on 28 April 2016 at home in Palo Alto, California, after complications from colon cancer. In the words of his daughter Julia Olkin [7]

My father, Ingram Olkin, died peacefully on Thursday evening, April 28, 2016, with his daughter Rhoda and wife Anita by his side. He had absolutely no regrets … both personally and professionally, and led a full, wonderful life. He valued all his friendships with everyone. Thank you for being a part of his life …

Richard W. Cottle, Professor Emeritus of Management Science & Engineering and a close friend of Olkin, said [4]:

He was a man of remarkable intelligence and affability. His nearly boundless energy was generously used for the welfare of others. It is hard to capture in words the goodness that Ingram showed in his everyday life.

In the conversation part of the Olkin Festschrift [8], Ingram described himself:

You also know that I’m generally a people person, which is one of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed students and collaborators. Over the years, the professional contacts have merged with the personal contacts.

We deeply miss you, a truly outstanding and unforgettable People Person, Ingram Olkin.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Warm thanks go to Elja Arjas, Kai-Tai Fang, Michael Greenacre, Harold V. Henderson, Jeffrey J. Hunter, Remigijus Leipus, Peter Šemrl, Evelyn Matheson Styan, Kimmo Vehkalahti, Grace Wahba, and Fuzhen Zhang for their help.

Photographs: Top left p11 at IWMS-1990 Tampere (with Jerzy K. Baksalary and Yadolah Dodge, photograph courtesy University of Tampere); top right p12 at IWMS-1995 Montréal (with Gene H. Golub and T. W. Anderson, photograph by Simo Puntanen); bottom left p21 at IWMS-2011 Tartu, Estonia (photograph by Jeffrey J. Hunter); bottom right p22 at IWMS-1995 Montréal (photograph by Simo Puntanen).

The original, shorter version of this appreciation of Ingram Olkin appeared in [30]. A shortened version also appeared in [31].

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada

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