Herman Chernoff

Harvard University

Primary Section: 32, Applied Mathematical Sciences
Membership Type:
Member (elected 1980)


I graduated from ccny, received my Phd in applied mathematcs at Brown University having  wrutten my dissertation at Columbia University.  Most of my career was in Statisics at Stanford, in Mathematics at MIT and Statistics at Harvard University. I am Professor Emeritus at MIT and Harvard. 

Research Interests

As a theoretical statistician, I have found that an honest attempt to confront non-trivial applied problems is a source of theoretical insights. My early work concentrated on asymptotic (large sample) theory and foundations of inference based on decision theory. This led to the application of large deviation theory to inference and the relevance of Kullback Leibler and other information concepts to optimal experimental design of experiments and ultimately to work in sequential analysis and optimal sequential design of experiments, which quantifies how scientific experimentation proceeds. One by-product of this work led to results in nonlinear control theory. In recent years I have devoted effort to the application of statistical theory to a variety of problems arising in molecular biology. These involve sequencing DNA strands, physical mapping, and testing for markers for genes.

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