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Biometrics. 1982 Mar;38 Suppl:11-5.

The contributions of Jerome Cornfield to the theory of statistics.

Abstract

This paper is a review of the contributions of Jerome Cornfield to the theory of statistics. It discusses several highlights of his theoretical work as well as describing his philosophy relating theory to application. The three areas discussed are: linear programming, urn sampling and its generalizations to the analysis of variance, and Bayesian inference. It is not widely known that Jerome Cornfield was perhaps the first to formulate and approximately solve the linear programming problem in 1941. His formulation was made for the famous "Diet Problem". An early publication introduced the method of indicator random variables in the context of urn sampling. This simple method allowed straightforward calculations of the low order moments for estimates arising from sampling finite populations and was later generalized to the two-way analysis of variance. The application of the urn sampling model to the analysis of variance served to illuminate how one chooses proper error terms for making tests in the analysis of variance table. Jerome Cornfield's philosophy on applications of statistics was dominated by a Bayesian outlook. His theoretical contributions in the past two decades were mainly concerned with the development of Bayesian ideas and methods. A brief survey is made of his main contributions to this area. A particularly noteworthy result was his demonstration that for the two-sample slippage problem of location, the likelihood function under a permutation setting is uninformative for the slippage parameter. However, the posterior distribution differs from the prior distribution despite the fact that the likelihood is uninformative.

PMID:
7046817
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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