Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science has a nice discussion up of influential statisticians.. Since my work has been heavily informed by Andrew Gelman’s work, this is an interesting discussion.
Standing on the shoulders of giants, indeed. When Lois Takahashi had us as PhD students in our first theory class (a joy that was to teach, no doubt, as I was in it and I was rotten to the core as a PhD student), she had us draw out a scholarly genealogy. It wasn’t a terribly successful assignment for me, as my advisor was circumspect about his influences and his own advisor, and my second advisor was incredibly voluble, shared tons of influences in addition to his own advisor, and I had a very odd-looking chart.
After all that, perhaps the greatest influence in the way I go about my work was my advisor, Randy Crane. Even now when I see him once a year at most interacting at conferences or over email, I can see how I imprinted on his tendency to take nothing as given until it’s been thought through. That merged with my compulsively exact nature and has set my approach.
I started to list others from Casey Dawkins to Dowell Myers to Linsey Marr to Jacky Grimshaw to Richard Green to Elizabeth Currid to Renia Ehrenfeucht to David Sloane to Gen Giuliano to Evy Blumenberg to Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris to Paul Knox to Marlon Boarnet to Sandi Rosenbloom to JR DeShazo to Sacha Klein to Hiro Iseki to Ken Small to David Levinson to Brian Taylor to Marty Wachs to Noreen MacDonald to Chris Redfearn to Kelly Clifton to Deb Neimeier….and I have too many people to include on the list! I understand both the circumspection–why try to list them all when you can’t?–and the volubility. If you begin listing, there are a lot of them!