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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

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
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.
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Source:  OpenStax, Introductory material to the good book: thirty years of comments, conjectures and conclusions. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10572/1.1
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