James Durbin

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This article is about the statistician. For the American Idol contestant, see James Durbin (singer).
Professor James Durbin
James Durbin.jpg
Born (1923-06-30)30 June 1923[1]
Wigan, England
Died 23 June 2012(2012-06-23) (aged 88)
Residence United Kingdom
Citizenship United Kingdom
Fields Statistics
Institutions London School of Economics
University of Cambridge
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Henry Daniels
Known for Time series analysis
Serial correlation
Durbin–Watson statistic
Durbin test
Levinson–Durbin algorithm
Notable awards Guy Medal (Bronze, 1966) (Silver, 1976) (Gold, 2008)
Fellow of the British Academy
Children Richard Durbin

James Durbin FBA (30 June 1923 – 23 June 2012) was a British statistician and econometrician, known particularly for his work on time series analysis and serial correlation.[2][3][4][5][6]


Durbin was born in Wigan[7] and educated at St John's College, Cambridge where his contemporaries included David Cox and Denis Sargan.


Durbin joined the London School of Economics in 1950 and was appointed professor of statistics in 1961, a post he held until his retirement in 1988.

Awards and honours[edit]

He served as president of the International Statistical Institute in 1983–5 and of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) in 1986–7.[8] In 2008 he was awarded the highest distinction of the RSS, the Guy Medal in Gold (having previously been awarded both the Silver and Bronze medals). The citation read:

His last book, Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods,[10] was published by Oxford University Press in May 2012. His last books were co-authored by Siem Jan Koopman of VU University Amsterdam. He died on 23 June 2012.[11][12]


  1. ^ John Grant (1970). Who's who of British scientists. Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-11464-7. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Durbin, J.; Watson, G. S. (1950). "Testing for Serial Correlation in Least Squares Regression: I". Biometrika (Biometrika Trust) 37 (3–4): 409–428. doi:10.2307/2332391. JSTOR 2332391. PMID 14801065. 
  3. ^ "Statistics in the University of London : Prof. James Durbin". Nature 191 (4795): 1247. 1961. doi:10.1038/1911247b0. 
  4. ^ Phillips, P. C. B. (2010). "The ET Interview: Professor James Durbin". Econometric Theory 4: 125. doi:10.1017/S0266466600011907. 
  5. ^ Harvey, A.C.; Koopman, S.J.; Shephard, N., eds. (2004). "Preface: About Professor James Durbin". State Space and Unobserved Component Models: Theory and Applications (Proceedings of a conference in honour of James Durbin). Cambridge University Press. p. xii. doi:10.2277/052183595X. ISBN 978-0-521-83595-4. 
  6. ^ ISI Honorary Member Interviews: Professor James Durbin
  7. ^ "James Durbin". A Dictionary of Statistics. Oxford University Press. 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Royal Statistical Society Presidents". Royal Statistical Society. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "LSE — Statistics — News". Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  10. ^ Durbin, J. (2012). Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods. Oxford Statistical Science Series. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-964117-X. 
  11. ^ "Jim Durbin". University College London. 26 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Renowned statistician and former RSS President, Professor James Durbin, dies". RSSeNews. Royal Statistical Society. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.