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Encyclopedia > Abraham Wald

Abraham Wald (October 31, 1902 Kolozsvár, Hungary (now Cluj, Romania) - December 13, 1950 India) was a mathematician who contributed to decision theory, geometry, and econometrics, and founded the field of statistical sequential analysis..

Being Jewish, he could not attend school on Saturdays, as was required at the time by the Hungarian school system, and was thus home-schooled by his parents until college (to no disadvantage of his, as his parents were quite knowledgeable and competent as teachers).

In 1927, he entered graduate school at the University of Vienna, from which he graduated in 1931 with a Ph.D. in mathematics. His advisor there was Karl Menger

When the Nazis invaded Austria in 1938, he and his family were persecuted as Jews. He was able to emigrate to the United States, at the invitation of the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics, to work on econometrics research.

He died in an airplane crash in India while on an extensive lecture tour at the invitation of the Indian government.


Notable publications

  • A new formula for the index of cost of living, 1939, in Econometrica
  • The Fitting of Straight Lines in Both Variables are Subject to Error, 1940, in Annals of Mathematical Statistics
  • Sequential Analysis, 1947

See also

External Links

  • Biographical entry from the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive (http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Wald.html)


Oskar Morgenstern, "Abraham Wald, 1902-1950," Econometrica, 19:4, October 1951, pp. 361-367

  Results from FactBites:
Abraham Wald (402 words)
Wald's paper was also the first proof of the existence of an equilibrium in a G.E. setting in economics.
Wald was a mathematician and thus, naturally, had a tenuous understanding of the "economic" significance of his work.
Wald was himself dismissed immediately by the Nazis, which led him to leave Austria and accept an invitation from the Cowles Commission.
Wald biography (1577 words)
Wald was allowed to attend the University of Cluj but it appears that this was not made easy for him because he was Jewish.
Wald reported to the seminar on his work in econometrics, in particular he wrote a paper for the seminar on the existence of a solution to the competitive economic model.
Wald was the first to solve the general problem of sequential tests of statistical hypotheses.
  More results at FactBites »



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