Fred Smith 1934-2019

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in News

We regret to report the death of Fred Smith, a former RSS president. Known for his work on survey sampling, Fred was Emiritus Professor of Statistics at the University of Southampton and a recipient of the RSS Guy Medal in Bronze (1979). 

Born in Ilford, east London, Fred studied statistics at the London School of Economics (LSE), which introduced him to influential statisticians including Jim Durbin, Maurice Kendall, Maurice Quenouille and his tutor Claus Moser. At LSE he developed a long-term interest in time-series analysis and sample survey inference. 

In 1968, he moved to Southampton University. Working with Alastair Scott, he wrote several important papers on estimation in multi-stage surveys and the use of time series models to analyse repeated survey data. He also worked with JA John on non-orthogonal experimental designs, and developed a research programme on the analytic uses of complex survey data with Tim Holt.

Fred was RSS President in 1991-93 while merger negotiations with the Institute of Statisticians were taking place. He was also a panel member for the first three Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) panels.

He was described as an excellent teacher who could get across the most complex ideas with clarity and enthusiasm. He also enjoyed working with others – the vast majority of his published papers were jointly authored.

Fred will be sadly missed and our deepest condolences go out to his family at this time.

A full obituary will be published in a future edition of the RSS Series A Journal.

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