Being French, and being clever, it was inevitable that Paul-André Meyer would have that qualité étonnante. Meyer loved mathematics and probability, languages and culture, and philosophy and history.
Even a decade ago the statistician was just a dour and faceless creature; an invisible “numbersmith” who never got the respect he deserved. All that’s soon going to change.
I was surprised to read that Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, the founder of the Indian Statistical Institute, was also a sort of meteorologist. 40 years after he passed away and 120 years after he was born, the “Professor” still continues to surprise.
I don’t know of a better teacher of probability than D Basu, which is not such a surprise. But what is more worrying is that I don’t know of any good teachers of probability, apart from the few at ISI, IISc and elsewhere. I am almost certain that our high school or undergraduate students have never met a good probability teacher.
The clamour for analytics can only grow as computer networks proliferate, and more and more data becomes digital. We are currently living through times when data capture and transmission is getting continually cheaper and more efficient. Soon we will face a situation where there’s a data overload, but no one knows what to do with all this data.