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today’s students to become leaders in the a BS in mathematics and physics and went both of these fields,” said David S. Guzick,
global marketplace. on to pursue and graduate with a master’s dean of the University of Rochester School of
“The unique partnerships that were degree from Colorado State University Medicine and Dentistry. “When we set out
formed to create MATHCOUNTS pro- and later a PhD in mathematics from the to hire a chair, we needed someone with the
vided us with a foundation for our past suc- University of Colorado at Boulder. flexibility to work back and forth between
cess,” explains MATHCOUNTS’ Executive Ratliff began teaching as a professor of mathematics, statistics, and systems biology.
Director Lou DiGioia. “And creating new mathematics and statistics at Northern We also needed a leader who could attract
partnerships between MATHCOUNTS Arizona University in 1976. Since then, he outstanding senior faculty and mentor junior
and organizations such as the ASA are of has been a cornerstone of the Mathematics faculty and students. He accomplished all of
the utmost importance to advancing our and Statistics Department, having chaired this in spades and did so by creating a col-
mission. Ron’s inherent understanding of it from 1981–1986 and 1991–1992. He legial, welcoming environment.”
this cooperative approach will ensure that was responsible for numerous curriculum Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Yakovlev
our goals are fully realized.” changes, which included developing and became a citizen of the United States in
directing the Actuarial Science program. 2005. During the 1990s, he was a visiting
Obituary
As an associate of the Society of Actuaries, professor at universities in France, Australia,
Ratliff was involved with actuarial education and Germany. He also taught at The Ohio
Hubert Lilliefors throughout the Southwest. State University and UC Santa Barbara. Prior
He published extensively in academic to arriving in Rochester, he was director of
Hubert Lilliefors, professor of statistics at
journals, received numerous grants, and the Division of Biostatistics at the Huntsman
George Washington University, passed away
was passionate about his students. He was Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.
February 23 in Bethesda, Maryland.
an outstanding teacher who received sev- While in Utah, Yakovlev began work-
For a long time, Lilliefors was a solid
eral “teacher of the year” awards from the ing on a series of landmark studies involv-
member of the Statistics Department at
department, college, and university. Ratliff ing differentiation of stem cells with Mark
GWU. He was also a dedicated teacher and
was a member of the American Statistical Noble, Chris Proschel, and Margot Mayer-
renowned researcher. He brought fame to
Association, Mathematical Association Proschel. Eventually, they all ended up in
the institution for his invention (which later
of America, National Honor Society of Rochester. Yakovlev’s death is a huge loss
came to carry his name) of the Lilliefors
Phi Kappa Phi, and Southwest Actuarial for the scientific community, said Proschel.
test, an adaptation of the Kolomogorov-
Education and Research Consortium. “The hallmark of his mind was that he
Smirnov test for the case of normal distri-
He successfully balanced his busy scho- questioned everything, literally every
butions with unknown mean and variance.
lastic career with an equally accomplished assumption ever made, at the peril of run-
The null distribution (that of the test statis-
outdoor life, which included riding his ning against the stream,” Proschel said. “He
tic) is a complicated distribution known as
mountain bike from the border of Mexico to was as rigorous a scientist as I’ve ever met.”
the Lilliefors distribution, and he was one of
Canada in 1988. He was a proficient skier, Yakovlev earned his medical degree in 1967
the first to get a good handle on its numeri-
frequently logging 40-day seasons on the from the First Leningrad Medical School, a
cal evaluation with the limited computing
slopes of Snowbowl and ski areas in Canada, doctorate in biology in 1973 from the Pavlov
equipment of the late 1960s. This was a feat
Europe, and every state in the West. Institute of Physiology of the Academy of
in early computational statistics.
Ratliff is survived by his wife and soul Sciences, USSR, and a doctorate in math-
Lilliefors was a fine gentleman, a dedi-
mate Janet M. McShane of Flagstaff; son ematics from Moscow State University in
cated teacher, an influential researcher, and
Nicholas Ratliff of Durango, Colorado; 1981. In St. Petersburg, he chaired a depart-
a good friend. He is survived by his wife,
sister Sandra Ratliff of Walla Walla, ment of biomathematics (1978–1988) and
Liliane; his children, James D. and William;
Washington; and numerous in-laws, cous- applied mathematics (1988–1992).
and his step children, Leith E. Speiden,
ins, nephews, and nieces. He was preceded He was an advisor to the World Health
Katharine M. Sutliff, and Lilian V. Burns.
in death by his parents. Organization and U.S. Environmental
Condolences may be sent to the family Protection Agency, a member of the Russian
Obituary
at www.lozanos-flagstaffmortuary.com. Academy of Sciences (1992), a Fellow of the
Michael Ratliff
Institute of Mathematical Statistics (1998)
Michael Irven Ratliff, 63, died at his home
Obituary
and American Statistical Association (2000),
and elected member of the International
in Flagstaff, Arizona, February 4, 2008.
Ratliff was born October 26, 1944,
Andrei Yakovlev
Statistical Institute (2002).
In addition to his professional accomplish-
to Irven and Edith Ratliff in Williston,
Andrei Yakovlev, professor and chair ments, friends and colleagues point out that
North Dakota, the younger of two chil-
of the Department of Biostatistics and Yakovlev was the life of the party. He liked
dren. The family moved to Spokane,
Computational Biology at the University to play piano and engage in lively discussions
Washington, when Ratliff was 3 years old
of Rochester Medical Center, died about art, music, politics, and history.
and later to St. Helena, California, where
February 27 at his home in Mendon, New He was married and had two sons, one
he spent his formative years. He graduated
York. He was 63. who died in Russia. He is survived by his
from Pacific Union College Prep School
“Andrei was the answer to our hopes for a wife, Nina, and a young son, Yuri. For more
with honors, earning him a scholarship to
chair of biostatistics and computational biol- information, visit www.urmc.rochester.edu/
Pacific Union College. He graduated with
ogy, the rare individual who had facility in pr/news/story.cfm?id=1911. n
34 AMSTAT NEWS APRIL 2008
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