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At Rice we immediately discovered that we could gain dramatic improvements (misclassification rates of 5%) by dropping the number ofchannels to four and using template methods. We quickly moved to kernel approaches. Some years later, the NASA group, led byRichard Heydorn, took the solution for a four-channel scanner and easily packaged it into a satellite. They had arrived at apoint where NASA forecasting of Soviet grain production was much better than that of the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture. Thetechnology was exploited, according to the terms of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, to trade the permission of the Soviets intheir unusually bad years (there were no good years) to buy US grain at spot prices in exchange for very relaxed policies on theemigration of Soviet Jews to Israel. Thus, nonparametric density estimation has had indirect but dramatic effects on thedemographics of Israel. Jackson-Vanik has permitted hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews to resettle in Israel. Without theNASA results, Jackson-Vanik would have had no teeth.

We expanded our research to work on Defense modeling, ecology, and biomedical work in cardiology and oncology.Over the years, Rice has produced over a hundred papers, three books, and dozens of doctorates in nonparametric functionestimation topics in a variety of application areas.

Bump hunting

One of the most important applications of density estimation is the discovery and characterization of features. In Goodand Gaskins (1980), the authors set forth an extremely influential application of their penalized likelihood estimator for assigning odds for the veracity of modes and bumps.Silverman (1981) introduced a bootstrap technique that examines the number of modes in a density all at once.However, Good and Gaskins examined individual modes (and more generally, bumps) one-at-a-time, which webelieve is the more powerful approach. One would like to find the “closest” density without the mode or bumpof interest. What the authors introduced was “bump surgery,” where the raw data were gently massaged toreduce the size of the mode or bump, until it was just eliminated. Then a quantity rather like log-likelihoodcould be computed to quantify the odds on whether the feature is real, or just an artifact of the sample. This problem isvery challenging, and many lines of research have ensued. But the paper was read at the Joint StatisticalMeetings, accompanied by a lively set of discussions, and has been enormously influential in the field.


The second author had the pleasure of serving as Jack Good's chauffeur twice. At another SRCOS meeting in Arkansas, Jackflew into a nearby airport. The SRCOS meetings were a wonderful week-long affair that made research discussionsinformal and exciting. In 1993, Jack was invited to give a talk at the National Security Agency, where thethe second author was spending a sabbatical. Jack agreed to visit if he did not have to drive. A large collection of Jack's classifiedpublications are available in the NSA library, typewritten with 1940s technology. Many of Jack's friends hadlong retired from NSA, but the excitement of problem- solving made for a memorable day.

Thus it is our great pleasure to share in the celebration of Jack's ninetieth birthday and to admire the depth and breadth ofhis work. Many happy returns.


Good, I. J. and Gaskins, R. A. (1971), “Nonparametric roughness penalties for probability densities,”Biometrika , 58, 255-277.

Good, I. J. and Gaskins, R. A. (1980), “Density estimation and bump-hunting by the penalized likelihoodmethod exemplified by scattering and meteorite data,” J. Amer Stat Assoc, 75, 42-56.

Klonias, V. K. (1982), “Consistency of two nonparametric maximum penalized likelihood estimators of the probability density function,”Annals of Statistics , 10, 811-824.

Scott, D.W. (1976), “Nonparametric Probability Density Estimation by Optimization Theoretic Techniques,” unpublished doctoral dissertation,Rice University, Houston.

Silverman, B. W. (1981), “Using kernel density estimates to investigate multimodality,” J. Royal Statistical Society, Series B,43, 97-99.

Tapia, R. A. and Thompson, J.R. (1978), Nonparametric probability density estimation, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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