Stephen Fienberg

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Stephen Fienberg
Born Stephen Elliott Fienberg
(1942-11-27)27 November 1942
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died 14 December 2016(2016-12-14) (aged 74)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Harvard University (PhD)
University of Toronto (BSc)
Awards R. A. Fisher Lectureship
Scientific career
Fields Statistics
Institutions Carnegie Mellon University
Thesis The Estimation of Cell Probabilities in Two-Way Contingency Tables (1968)
Doctoral advisor Frederick Mosteller[1]

Stephen Elliott Fienberg (27 November 1942 – 14 December 2016) was a Professor Emeritus[2] (formerly the Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Science) in the Department of Statistics, the Machine Learning Department, Heinz College, and Cylab at Carnegie Mellon University.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Fienberg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Toronto in 1964, a Master of Arts degree in Statistics in 1965, and a Ph.D. in Statistics in 1968 from Harvard University for research supervised by Frederick Mosteller[1][5]

Career and research[edit]

He was on the Carnegie Mellon University faculty from 1980, served as Dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and became a U.S. citizen in 1998. He authored more than 400 publications, including six books, advised more than 30 Ph.D. students, and could claim more than 105 descendants in his mathematical genealogy.[1]

Feinberg was one of the foremost social statisticians in the world, and was well known for his work in log-linear modeling for categorical data, the statistical analysis of network data, and methodology for disclosure limitation. He authored and coauthored books on categorical data analysis,[6] US census adjustment,[7] and forensic science.[8] He was a founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality.[9]

Selected publications[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Fienberg was a recipient of the COPSS Presidents' Award, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences,[12] an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,[13] a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,[14] a fellow of the American Statistical Association[15] and a winner of its Wilks Award, and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.[16] He was selected to be the R. A. Fisher Lecturer in 2015.[17] Fienberg was the winner of the 2015 NISS Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research,[18]

Personal life[edit]

Stephen Fienberg was married to Joyce Fienberg and had two sons, Anthony and Howard, and six grandchildren. He died on 14 December 2016.[19][4]


  1. ^ a b c Stephen Fienberg at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ "Emeritus Celebration for Steve Fienberg | NSF-Census Research Network". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  3. ^ "CMU Statistics". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  4. ^ a b Mejia, Robin (2017). "Stephen E. Fienberg (1942–2016) Statistician who campaigned for better science in court". Nature. 542 (7642): 415–415. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 28230130. doi:10.1038/542415a. 
  5. ^ Feinberg, Stephen Elliot (1968). The estimation of cell probabilities in two-way contingency tables. (PhD thesis). Harvard University. OCLC 500191808. 
  6. ^ "Stephen E. Fienberg". MIT Press. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  7. ^ "Who Counts? | RSF". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  8. ^ Council, National Research (2002-10-08). The Polygraph and Lie Detection. ISBN 9780309263924. doi:10.17226/10420. 
  9. ^ "Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality | Journals | Carnegie Mellon University". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  10. ^ Haberman, Shelby J. (July 1976). "Review: Discrete Multivariate Analysis: Theory and Practice by Y. M. M. Bishop, S. E. Fienberg and P. W. Holland". The Annals of Statistics. 4 (4): 817–820. JSTOR 2958194. doi:10.1214/aos/1176343556. 
  11. ^ Kempthorne, Oscar (June 1983). "A Review of R. A. Fisher: An Appreciation". Journal of the American Statistical Association. 78 (382): 482–490. JSTOR 2288664. doi:10.1080/01621459.1983.10478001. 
  12. ^, National Academy of Sciences. "Stephen Fienberg". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  13. ^ "List of Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences" (PDF). Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Fienberg, Stephen E". AAAS – The World's Largest General Scientific Society. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  15. ^ Inc., Advanced Solutions International,. "ASA Fellows List". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  16. ^ "IMS Awards". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  17. ^ Amstat Videos (2015-09-24), COPSS Awards and Fisher Lecture, retrieved 2016-12-01 
  18. ^ "An Interview with Steve Fienberg, 2015 NISS Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research Winner | Amstat News". Retrieved 2016-12-01. 
  19. ^ "STEPHEN E. FIENBERG, 1942-2016". Retrieved 2016-12-14.