David Brillinger is Professor of Statistics at the University of California at Berkeley. Born in
Toronto, Canada he entered the University of Toronto in 1955, graduating with a B. A. with
Honors in Pure Mathematics in 1959, while also serving as a Lieutenant in the Canadian
Naval Reserve. He was one of the five winners of the Putnam mathematical competition in
1958. He then went on to obtain his M. A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics at Princeton University,
in 1960 and 1961, the latter under the guidance of John W. Tukey.
During the period 1962-4, David held halftime appointments as a Lecturer in Mathematics at
Princeton, and a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey. In
1964 he was appointed Lecturer and two years later Reader in Statistics at the London School
of Economics. After spending a sabbatical year at Berkeley in 1967-8, he returned to become
Professor of Statistics in 1970, and has been there since. In the course of his career, he has
supervised 40 doctoral theses and published over 220 papers in a wide variety of books,
scientific journals, and conference proceedings.
He has made contributions to the theory of time series and point processes. His
methodological work has always been motivated through collaborations with researchers from
other fields. His techniques for spike train analysis are widely known in neurophysiology, and
his work on modeling earthquake risk is equally well known in seismology. More recently,
David has also contributed to the advancement of environmental statistics by developing
techniques for animal tracking, wildfire risk and looking for climate change. He has also
written papers on sports statistics, particularly hockey and soccer.
He was a long-term member of Statistics Canada’ s Advisory Committee of Statistical
Methods and he served two terms on NSERC’ s Statistical Sciences Grant Selection
Committee. Various universities and institutions have called on him for reviews and scientific
advisory panels. These include the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
and the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
He received fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada, the Statistical Society of Canada
Gold Medal, and honorary doctorates at the universities of Western Ontario, Waterloo and
He was President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, of the Statistical Society
of Canada, and of the International Environmetrics Society. A member of numerous
international grant and scientific review panels, he served in editorial or advisory capacities
for Springer’ s Series in Statistics and Lecture Notes in Statistics and for 12 journals: the
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, The Annals of Mathematical Statistics,
The Annals of Probability, The Annals of Statistics, the Journal of Multivariate Analysis, the
Journal of Time Series Analysis, the Journal of Theoretical Neurobiology, Statistical Science
(two terms), the International Statistical Review, Chance, Environmetrics, and the Latin
American Journal of Probability and Mathematical Statistics.
His honors include Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Fellow of the
American Statistical Association, Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute,
Guggenheim Fellow (twice), IMS Medallion Lecturer (twice), Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, Wald Lecturer, winner of the R. A. Fisher
Award, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, winner of the Parzen Prize
for Statistical Innovation, Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and
Letters, Neyman Lecturer, and Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Science.
Speaking generally his research focuses on statistical methods for random processes in space
and time and their applications in engineering and science. Particular foci include: modeling
motion, and risk analysis for earthquakes, wildfires, floods and for collisions with space