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A tribute to SSA Honorary Member Ken Brewer

  • 11 Jan 2021 11:28 AM
    Message # 9838237
    Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    Photograph by Marie-Louise Rankin

    Ken Brewer, one of the giants of survey sampling, passed away peacefully in the early hours of 3 January, 2021 in Canberra.

    Ken was a great scholar, very wise and showed interests in many areas of statistical applications, on which he published extensively.  He had also published two books and over 100 papers on survey sampling, many of which were highly cited.

    Apart from his academic achievements, Ken was also a very kind man.  He never stopped sharing his insights and knowledge on statistics with the more junior colleagues.  He also generously offered help to many others in the different stages of their career - I was one of those who benefitted from his advice to settle in Canberra in the mid 1980’s as a new immigrant and, since that time, learned a lot from working alongside with him.

    Summarising one of Ken’s most noticeable contributions very well when, announcing Ken’s passing away to the subscribers of the Survey Research Methodology Section of the American Statistician, Phil Knot said:

     “One of Ken Brewer’s most remarkable achievements was a paper effectively summarizing over 20 years of the design-based vs model-based debate, which ranged from Richard Royall’s infamous 1970 Biometrika paper till the model-assisted synthesis coined and described in Sarndal, Swensson, and Wretman’s 1992 Book.  Ken published this paper in the Journal of Australian Statistics in 1963.”

    In many areas of research, Ken was ahead of his time.

    Ken was an excellent researcher, colleague, friend and teacher to many of us.  Ken will be sorely missed. 

    Siu-Ming Tam

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