Arthur P. Dempster

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Arthur P. Dempster
Dempster in Brest.JPG
Prof Dempster at the workshop on Belief Function Theory (Brest 1 April 2010).
Born1929 (age 91–92)
Alma materPrinceton University (PhD 1956)
University of Toronto (BA 1952; MA 1953)
Known forDempster–Shafer theory,
EM algorithm
AwardsPutnam Fellow (1951)
ASA Fellow (1964) [1]
IMS Fellow (1963) [2]
Guggenheim Fellow
AAAS Fellow (1997)
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard University
ThesisThe two-sample multivariate problem in the degenerate case (1956)
Doctoral advisorJohn Tukey
Doctoral studentsAugustine Kong
Nan Laird

Arthur Pentland Dempster (born 1929) is a Professor Emeritus in the Harvard University Department of Statistics. He was one of four faculty when the department was founded in 1957.[3]


Dempster received his B.A. in mathematics and physics (1952) and M.A. in mathematics (1953), both from the University of Toronto. He obtained his Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Princeton University in 1956. His thesis, titled The two-sample multivariate problem in the degenerate case, was written under the supervision of John Tukey.

Academic works[edit]

Among his contributions to statistics are the Dempster–Shafer theory and the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Dempster, A. P. (1967), "Upper and lower probabilities induced by a multivalued mapping", The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 38 (2): 325–339, doi:10.1214/aoms/1177698950
  • Dempster, A. P.; Laird, N.; Rubin, D. B. (1977), "Maximum likelihood from incomplete data via the EM algorithm", Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 39 (1): 1–38, JSTOR 2984875

Honors and awards[edit]

Dempster was a Putnam Fellow in 1951. He was elected to ASA Fellow in 1964,[1] IMS Fellow in 1963,[2] and AAAS Fellow in 1997.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Search Fellows of the ASA". ASA. Retrieved 3 February 2015. click submit and search "Dempster" CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "Honored IMS Fellows". Archived from the original on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2015-02-03.
  3. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  4. ^ "List of Members by Classes September 1, 1997". Records of the Academy (American Academy of Arts and Sciences) (1996/1997): 56–128. 1996. JSTOR 3786119.

External links[edit]