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Leonard Jimmie Savage (20 November 1917 – 1 November 1971) was a US mathematician and statistician.

He graduated from the University of Michigan and later worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Yale University, and the Statistical Research Group at Columbia University. Though his thesis advisor was Sumner Myers, he also credited Milton Friedman and W. Allen Wallis as statistical mentors.

His most noted work was the 1954 book Foundations of Statistics, in which he put forward a theory of subjective and personal probability and statistics which forms one of the strands underlying Bayesian statistics and has applications to game theory.

During World War II, Savage served as chief "statistical" assistant to John von Neumann, the mathematician credited with building the first electronic computer.[1]

One of Savage's indirect contributions was his discovery of the work of Louis Bachelier on stochastic models for asset prices and the mathematical theory of option pricing. Savage brought the work of Bachelier to the attention of Paul Samuelson. It was from Samuelson's subsequent writing that "random walk" (and subsequently Brownian motion) became fundamental to mathematical finance.

In 1951 he introduced the minimax regret criterion used in decision theory.

The Hewitt–Savage zero-one law is (in part) named after him.

See also

* Loss function
* Friedman-Savage utility function


1. ^ Hacking, Ian (2001). An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 184. ISBN 0-521-77287-7.

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Leonard Jimmie Savage", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Savage.html .
* Entry at the Mathematics Genealogy Project


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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