Poul Thyregod (President 2003-2004)

Sadly Poul Thyregod passed away in July 2008. ENBIS 8 was dedicated to him memory. In Andrea Ahlmeyer-Stubbe's words:

"We lost a former President, a great colleague and lovely person. He had the capability to link statistics to real problems and focus on the real added value of statistics - in order to help us understand the real world a bit better. Poul's modesty and empathy was an inspiration to us all. He always found a good compromise in situations where this was needed and always kept his promises."

Besides an outstanding working life with lots of scientific and applied highlights, great teaching and networking with colleagues, his personality made his contributions unique.

He had the capability to link statistics to real problems and focus on the real added value of statistics - in order to help us understand the real world a bit better. Poul's modesty and empathy was an inspiration to us all. He always found a good compromise in situations where this was needed and always kept his promises.

His fields of interest were:

  • acceptance sampling and quality monitoring
  • analysis of reliability data
  • inverse sampling - the up-and-down method
  • general/generalized linear models
  • "Introduction to General and Generalized Linear Models", by Henrik Madsen & Poul Thyregod will appear on CRC Press, release date 15/5/2009
  • miscellaneous statistical topics
  • In his early years he made profound contributions to Bayesian sampling

He was a member of:

  • American Society for Quality (Senior member)
  • American Statistical Association
  • International Statistical Institute
  • Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability
  • Royal Statistical Society
  • ENBIS, European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics, (President 2003-2004).
  • NDRF Nordic Demining Research Forum
  • Dansk Selskab for Teoretisk Statistik (Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics)
  • Svenska Statistikersamfundet (Swedish Society for Statistics )
  • Svenska Statistikersamfundet, Sektion for industriell statistik (Swedish Society for Statistics, Section for Industrial statistics )
  • FAST, Danish Society for Applied Statistics (member of the Board from start - 2003)
  • Dansk Forening for Kvalitet (Danish Society for Quality)
  • Dansk Universitetspolitisk Forum

Poul was awarded the prestigious Box Medal in 2007 at Dortmund. From ENBIS News 2-3(2) 2007,

"The Box Medal is named after George Box and is awarded to recognise an extraordinary statistician who has contributed to development and application of statistical methods in European business and industry.

"This year’s recipient is Poul Thyregod, Professor of Industrial Statistics at the Technical University of Denmark, President of ENBIS in 2003‐2004, a keynote speaker at ENBIS‐3 in Rimini (Italy), and a Conference Chair of ENBIS‐4 in Copenhagen (Denmark).

"Poul was a student of Anders Hald, a Professor Emeritus of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Hald authored a landmark book on Statistical Theory of Sampling Inspection by Attributes (Academic Press, 1981) that includes Poulʹs earlier work on Bayesian Sampling (Thyregod, P.: Bayesian single sampling acceptance plans for finite lot sizes. Journal. Roy. Statist. Soc., B 36, 1974 pp. 305‐319).

"Following the work of Poul is a fascinating journey into the application of statistics. At ENBIS‐3 in Rimini (Italy), he presented the now famous ice cream example showing how understanding the context enables children to provide critical insights into data analysis. The data consists of daily ice cream sales in Denmark. The question is what days are Sundays. Danish kids know that on Sundays they go out with their parents to buy ice creams. When in possession of this information, associating peak sales with Sundays is trivial (see Kenett, R. and Thyregod, P.: “Aspects of statistical consulting not taught by academia”, Statistica Neerlandica, 60, 3, pp. 396‐412, August 2006).

"Poul contributed to our profession in many ways. The list of his publications is very long and includes articles in journals such as International Statistical Review, Journal of Applied Statistics, Journal de Physique, Journal of Chemometrics, Journal of Quality Technology, Journal of the Royal tatistical Society (Series B), Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, Quality and Reliability Engineering International, Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, and Technometrics.

"The ability to work with engineers and scientists, to be part of the discovery process, and to be able to communicate so clearly what statistics is all about, is clearly a gift. Poul has that gift. His career is a prime example demonstrating how statistics develops by integrating theory and applications. We are all very proud to have him as our 2007 Box Medalist and to have had him as our president."