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Friday, September 18, 2009

Eminent statistician Maswood passes away

Dr Mir Maswood Ali, a professor of statistics emeritus, University of Western Ontario, and a brilliant statistician of Bangladeshi origin, passed away at London in Ontario, Canada, due to pulmonary complications on August 18 at the age of 80, says a press release.

Born on March 1, 1929 in Patuakhali, Dr Ali was the eldest son of late Mir Muazzam Ali, a prominent lawyer of Patuakhali, and late Azifa Ali.

He matriculated from Patuakhali Jubilee School in 1944 and then got his Intermediate in science from BM College in Barisal in 1946. He received his BSc degree in mathematics in 1948 and MSc in statistics in 1950, both from the University of Dhaka, and stood first class first in both the exams. He was awarded a gold medal for his highest mark in MSc exams.

Dr Ali served as a lecturer in the Department of Statistics at Dhaka University from 1950 to 1952. He then worked from 1952 to 1957 as an actuarial assistant at Norwich Union Life and Canada Life. In 1958, he obtained a second Master's degree in actuarial science at the University of Michigan and worked there as a teaching fellow until 1959. He then went to the University of Toronto where he obtained his PhD degree in statistics in 1961.

Dr Ali joined the mathematics department at the University of Western Ontario

(UWO) as assistant professor in 1961. He became a professor in 1966 and remained there until his retirement in 1994 when he was named Professor Emeritus. He founded the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at UWO.

He also published his articles in leading statistical journals such as the Annals of Mathematical Statistics, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, the Journal of Multivariate Analysis, the Pacific Journal of Mathematics and Biometrika.

Dr Ali was a man of strong principle. He was also a very decent and humble man who never sought recognition for anything that he did or achieved.

He left behind his wife Surayia, eight children and seven grandchildren and a host of relatives and well-wishers in Bangladesh, Canada and the USA.

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