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Jacob Wolfowitz, Ph.D. (March 19, 1910 July 16, 1981) was a Polish-born American statistician and Shannon Award-winning information theorist. He was the father of former Deputy Secretary of Defense and World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz.

Born in Wayne Gates, Poland in 1910, he emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1920. In the mid-1930s, Wolfowitz began his career as high-school mathematics teacher and continued teaching until 1942 when he received his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from New York University. While a part-time graduate student, Wolfowitz met Abraham Wald, with whom he collaborated in numerous joint papers in the field of mathematical statistics. This collaboration continued until Wald's death in an airplane crash in 1950. In 1951, Wolfowitz became a professor of mathematics at Cornell University, where he stayed until 1970. He died of a heart attack in Tampa, Florida, where he was a professor at the University of South Florida.

Wolfowitz's main contributions were in the fields of statistical decision theory, non-parametric statistics, sequential analysis, and information theory.

Books

Kiefer, J., ed. Jacob Wolfowitz Selected Papers. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1980. ISBN 0387904638.
Wolfowitz, Jacob. Coding Theorems of Information Theory. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1978. ISBN 0387085483.

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