Work on estimators for interval censoring and deconvolution has been the most important research for me: An interview with Piet Groeneboom


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 08 Jan 2014
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of Professor Groeneboom

Professor Piet Groeneboom is Emeritus Professor of Statistics at the Faculty EWI (Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science) of the University of Technology, Delft and also a Member of DIAM (Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics) at Delft University.

During the Joint Statistical Meetings 2013 in Montreal, Canada, he presented the Wald Lecture which is available here on his webpage.

StatisticsViews talked to Professor Groeneboom about his career and his work on inference and estimators for interval censoring and deconvolution.

thumbnail image: Work on estimators for interval censoring and deconvolution has been the most important research for me: An interview with Piet Groeneboom

1. When and how did you first become aware of statistics as a discipline and what was it that inspired you to pursue a career in statistics?

By a friend who was a statistician and later by reading the book of Barlow, Bartholomew, Bremner and Brunk from 1972.

2. You are currently Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Delft University. Over the years, how has your teaching and research motivated and influenced each other?

I think mainly by my Ph.D. students who became professors, for example Geurt Jongbloed who succeeded me in Delft and Marloes Maathuis, who became professor at the ETH, Zürich. I did research with a lot of people as co-authors, for example Eric Cator who just has become professor in Nijmegen and also with Americans, for example Jon Wellner.

3. Do you continue to get research ideas from statistics and incorporate your ideas into your teaching? Where do you get inspiration for your research projects and books?

I don't teach any more, but I am rather actively involved in a number of research projects, mainly in the field of order restricted inference.

4. Your research interests include large deviations, stochastic geometry and particle systems, amongst others. What are you focussing on currently and what do you hope to achieve through your research?

I'm focussing on order restricted inference right now, on which I also wrote a book with Geurt Jongbloed.

4. Your lectures here at JSM 2013 are the Wald Lectures on ‘Nonparametric Estimation under Shape Constraints’. Could you please tell us about your theme for the lectures and what points you hope to bring across?

I mainly concentrate on telling the history of the order restricted inference and its many open problems.

5. What has been the most exciting development that you have worked on in statistics during your career?

The work on isotonic regression, which I started to do with Ronald Pyke in 1980, and which I still am involved with, has been the most exciting.

6. What do you think the most important recent developments in the field have been? What do you think will be the most exciting and productive areas of research in statistics during the next few years?

Recent work on estimators for interval censoring and deconvolution has been the most important for me; extending this to higher dimensions will be a productive area of research.

7. Are there people or events that have been influential in your career?

Yes, Ronald Pyke, Bob Blumenthal and Carel Scheffer (a Dutch probabilist) have been rather influential.

Related Topics

Related Publications

Related Content

Site Footer


This website is provided by John Wiley & Sons Limited, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ (Company No: 00641132, VAT No: 376766987)

Published features on are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.