Jim Berger (statistician)

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James O. Berger
James Berger Oberwolfach 2005.jpg
Born (1950-04-06) 6 April 1950 (age 67)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Statistician, Bayesian
Institutions Purdue University
Duke University
Alma mater Cornell University
Thesis 'Admissibility in Location Parameter Problems' (1974)
Doctoral advisor Lawrence D. Brown
Doctoral students Mark Berliner
Ming-Hui Chen
Dipak K. Dey
Duncan Fong
Feng Liang
Peter Müller
Keying Ye
Man Suk Oh
James Scott
Dongchu Sun
Known for Bayesian inference, Statistical hypothesis testing, Computer experiments
Notable awards COPSS Presidents' Award (1985)
National Academy of Sciences (2003)
Guggenheim Fellowship
IMS R. A. Fisher Lectureship

James O. Berger (born April 6, 1950 in Minneapolis, Minnesota)[1] is an American statistician. He received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University in 1974. He was a faculty member in the Department of Statistics at Purdue University until 1997, at which time he moved to the Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences (now the Department of Statistical Science) at Duke University, where he is currently the Arts and Sciences Professor of Statistics. He has also been Director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute since 2002.[1][2][3]

Contributions to Science[edit]

Berger has worked on the decision theoretic bases of Bayesian inference, including advances on the Stein phenomenon[4][5] during and after his thesis. He has also greatly contributed to advances in the so-called objective Bayes approach where prior distributions are constructed from the structure of the sampling distributions and/or of frequentist properties. He is also recognized for his analysis of the opposition between Bayesian and frequentist visions on testing statistical hypotheses, with criticisms of the use of p-values[6] and critical levels.

Awards and honors[edit]

Berger has received numerous awards for his work: Guggenheim Fellowship, the COPSS Presidents' Award and the R. A. Fisher Lectureship. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.[7] In 2004, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by Purdue University.[8]


  • Berger, James O. (1985). Statistical Decision Theory and Bayesian Analysis. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-96098-8. 
  • Wolpert, Robert L.; Berger, James O. (1988). The Likelihood Principle. Institute of Mathematical Statistics. ISBN 0-940600-13-7. 


  1. ^ a b Wolpert, Robert L. (2004). "A Conversation with James O. Berger". Statistical Science. 19 (1): 205. doi:10.1214/088342304000000053. 
  2. ^ "ISI Highly Cited: James O. Berger". ISI Web of Knowledge. 2003. 
  3. ^ "Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute". Archived from the original on 2008-09-30. 
  4. ^ Berger, J. O. (1982). "Selecting a Minimax Estimator of a Multivariate Normal Mean". The Annals of Statistics. 10: 81. doi:10.1214/aos/1176345691. 
  5. ^ Brown, L. (1980). "Examples of Berger's Phenomenon in the Estimation of Independent Normal Means". The Annals of Statistics. 8 (3): 572. doi:10.1214/aos/1176345009. 
  6. ^ Sellke, Thomas; Bayarri, M. J.; Berger, James O. (2001). "Calibration of p Values for Testing Precise Null Hypotheses". The American Statistician . 55 (1): 62–71. doi:10.1198/000313001300339950. JSTOR 2685531. 
  7. ^ "Statistician James O. Berger Elected to National Academy of Sciences". PR Newswire. 2003. 
  8. ^ "James O. Berger: Doctor of Science". Purdue University. 2004. 

External links[edit]