Remembering Steve Fienberg

Fienberg in his office at Carnegie Mellon University.

Fienberg in his office at Carnegie Mellon University.

Steve Fienberg and I first met at the Bayesian conference in Valencia (Las Fuentes) in June 1979. Our colleague Morrie DeGroot was one of the organizers; Morrie invited me, I think in hopes of “converting” me; and he invited Steve, I’m sure in hopes of enticing Steve to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) from Minnesota. Morrie ended up at 1-1; he was successful with Steve but not with me (although you might want to see the paper that Zhigang Yao and I published in the Annals of Applied Statistics in 2014).

Marilyn and Morrie (she was his high school girlfriend many years before) were on their honeymoon; Connie and I were fairly newly married (a year); Joyce and Steve already had more than a decade together. Nonetheless, we six closed the nightclub at Las Fuentes early every morning.

Steve and I had many other trips together with our wives. Steve could tell the tale of sitting on my thighs while I had the rigors in Buenos Aires. I could tell the tale of our night flight from Miami to Santiago. Perhaps the most fun was when we ran into each other in complete surprise at Charles DeGaulle airport; each of us was en route to/from a different conference. In the ensuing decades, we had many trips together, often to the Joint Statistical Meetings and the meetings of the International Statistical Institute, less often with our wives, and very, very often to Washington.

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