Asit Basu

Photo by Tyson Anderson 2007

Asit Basu, who passed away October 19, 2015, was Professor of Statistics at the University of Missouri Columbia. Born 1937 in India, he received undergraduate and master’s degrees, in 1956 and 1958, from the University of Calcutta and a PhD degree in Statistics from the University of Minnesota in 1966. Early in his career, Dr. Basu held positions in the University of Wisconsin–Madison, City University of New York, Northwestern University and University of Pittsburgh, as well as the IBM Research Center. In 1974 he joined the University of Missouri Columbia and remained there until his retirement in 2002. He served as department chair from 1976 to 1983.

Dr. Basu’s research area was reliability. He published extensively, including papers in top journals, four books edited and one co-authored. He organized a series of international conferences on Reliability in Columbia, Missouri. Two special issues of the Journal of Statistical Planning and Inference, in 1987 and 1991, evolved from these conferences with Dr. Basu as the guest editor. Dr. Basu was a Fellow of the IMS, the American Statistical Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the UK’s Royal Statistical Society, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. Fourteen students received their PhD degrees under his supervision.

Dr. Basu is fondly remembered by students and colleagues for the genuine concern he had for students, his service as department chair, his devotion to the field of reliability, and his wonderful spirit. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, sons Amit and Sumit and brother Anshu.

Written by Dibyen Majumdar, University of Illinois at Chicago