Ingram Olkin

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From left: Cyrus Derman, Ingram Olkin, and Leon Gleser in 1986

Ingram Olkin (born July 23, 1924) is a professor emeritus and chair of statistics and education at Stanford University and the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is known for developing statistical analysis for evaluating policies, particularly in education, and for his contributions to meta-analysis, statistics education, multivariate analysis, and majorization theory.


He received a B.S. in mathematics at the City College of New York, an M.A. from Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. Olkin also studied with Harold Hotelling. Olkin's advisor was S. N. Roy and his Ph.D. thesis was "On distribution problems in multivariate analysis" submitted in 1951.

A spokesperson for the statistics profession: Honors and awards[edit]

Olkin was awarded the first Elizabeth Scott Award from the American Statistical Association for his achievements in supporting women in statistics.

In 1984, he was President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Olkin is a Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Lady Davis Fellow, with an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University.

Publications and editing[edit]

Olkin has written many books including Statistical methods for meta-analysis, Probability theory, and Education in a Research University. Olkin's coauthors include S. S. Shrikhande, Larry V. Hedges, etc. Olkin has written two books with Albert W. Marshall, Inequalities: Theory of Majorization and its Applications (1979) and Life distributions: Structure of nonparametric, semiparametric, and parametric families (2007). In nonparametric statistics and decision theory, Olkin wrote Selecting and ordering populations: A new statistical methodology with Jean Dickinson Gibbons and Milton Sobel (1977, 1999).

Ingram was Editor of the Annals of Mathematical Statistics and served as the first editor of the Annals of Statistics, both published by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He was a primary force in the founding of the Journal of Educational Statistics, which is published with the American Statistical Association. Olkin is also an editor with the mathematics journal, Linear Algebra and its Applications, and has been active in supporting a series of international conferences on matrix theory, linear algebra, and statistics.