Stanford professor emeritus Theodore Anderson dies at age 98

Sept. 26, 2016, 11:57 p.m.
Theodore Anderson, 1918-2016. (Courtesy of the Stanford Department of Statistics)
(Courtesy of the Stanford Department of Statistics)

Stanford professor emeritus Theodore “Ted” Anderson died on Sept. 17 at the age of 98 from heart failure.

Anderson taught econometrics and statistics at Stanford from 1967 to 1988, when he retired. An extremely influential figure in mathematics, Anderson was engaged in scholarly contributions for many years of his life.

“Ted submitted his last technical paper less than a month ago,” said statistics department chair Emmanuel Candés. In the field of statistics, Anderson’s name is tied in with the Anderson-Darling test of fit, the Anderson-Stephens analysis of spherical data and the Anderson-Bahadur algorithm.

Statistics professor David Donoho noted Anderson’s large influence in the science of using high-dimensional data to predict circumstances depending on multiple measurements and variables. According to Donoho, the kind of analysis pioneered by Anderson is now used in, among other applications, prediction of cancer survival rates, credit score calculations and investment risk calculations.

Anderson was very involved in his life at Stanford, attending campus seminars and economics department gatherings regularly. He is known for his clear and thorough lectures.

Anderson, who was born in 1918 in Minneapolis, earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at Princeton in 1945. After a year of work at the University of Chicago as a research assistant on the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics, he taught at Columbia until 1967 at the start of his Stanford teaching.

Outside his professional career, Anderson enjoyed traveling, reading, tennis and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, one son, two daughters and his daughters’ families.


Contact Susannah Meyer at smeyer7 ‘at’

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