Skip to content Skip to navigation

A Faculty Tribute to Theodore "Ted" W. Anderson (1918-2016)

(Image credit: Courtesy Stanford Department of Statistics)
Oct 3 2016

Posted In:

In Memoriam

Our colleague Ted Anderson passed away early Saturday morning, September 17th, at the age of 98.  Ted easily ranks as one of the most prominent and influential members of Stanford’s economics faculty over the past 50 years.  Early in his career in the 1940s and 1950s, he was at the forefront of the development of econometrics as a field through his work with the Cowles Commission on simultaneous equations.  Ted (joint with H. Rubin) was the first to propose use of LIML (limited information maximum likelihood) to estimate single equations with multiple endogenous variables.  He continued work on this form of estimation throughout his career.  Ted established himself as one of the leading mathematical statisticians in the world through his path-breaking book Introduction to Multivariate Statistical Analysis, which first appeared in 1958.  This textbook rapidly attained the status of a classic that helped both to define the field of multivariate analysis and to educate a generation of theorists and applied statisticians.

Stanford was fortunate to hire Ted away from the Columbia statistics department in 1967, when he joined both the Stanford economics and statistics department.  In 1971, Ted produced the first edition of his widely-renowned book The Statistical Analysis of Time Series, which served as a major reference spearheading development of time series methods in econometrics.  This textbook not only comprehensively covered fundamental topics in the estimation of stationary stochastic processes, it also elucidated the properties and opportunities for analyzing random walks and other nonstationary time series.  Beyond his books, Ted’s original contributions and publications in econometrics and statistics are far too numerous to summarize here, with plenty of substance to merit awarding several persons tenure at Stanford.  In 1990, Wiley published The Collected Papers of T. W. Anderson: 1943-1985, a two volume set comprising 109 papers and 16 commentaries.

Those of us who were colleagues of Ted know him to have been one the most valued members and teachers of the economics department.  As many former Stanford students can attest, he was a generous teacher and mentor who devoted considerable time, efforts and insights to those who took his courses and asked for advice.  He was a good friend and an important member of the economics faculty, widely respected for his wisdom, leadership and affability.  Ted continued to attend department workshops, seminars, conferences and receptions long after his retirement in 1988, all the way through this past summer.  He submitted his last technical paper less than a month before his death.  Ted’s professional career and life is one that most academics can only aspire.  His departure is a sad loss to many of us.