Nan Laird

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Nan M. Laird
Born (1943-09-18) September 18, 1943 (age 76)
Alma materHarvard University
Known forExpectation-maximization algorithm,
DerSimonian-Laird estimator
AwardsFellow of the American Statistical Association, Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard School of Public Health
ThesisLog-linear models with random parameters: an empirical Bayes approach (1975)
Doctoral advisorArthur P. Dempster

Nan McKenzie Laird (born September 18, 1943) is a professor in Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health. She served as Chair of the Department from 1990 to 1999. She was the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Biostatistics from 1991 to 1999. Laird is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, as well as the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. She is a member of the International Statistical Institute.[1]


Laird received her PhD from Harvard University in 1975 under Arthur Dempster.

Laird is well known for many seminal papers in biostatistics applications and methods, including the Expectation-maximization algorithm.


Her honors include the Purdue University Myra Samuels Lecturer award (2004), the Janet L. Norwood Award (2003) from the American Statistical Association, the Florence Nightingale David Award (2001) from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies, and several other fellowships.

Selected publications[edit]

  • 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
  • DerSimonian, R.; Laird, N. (1986), "Meta-analysis in clinical trials", Controlled Clinical Trials, 7 (3): 177–188, doi:10.1016/0197-2456(86)90046-2, PMID 3802833


  1. ^ "Page 1 SCASA's 2006 Workshop in Applied Statistics" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2008-07-14.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

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