Donald Rubin

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Donald Rubin
Donald Bruce Rubin

(1943-12-22) December 22, 1943 (age 77)
Known for Rubin causal model
Expectation–maximization algorithm
Scientific career
Fields Statistics
Institutions Educational Testing Service
Princeton University
University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Chicago
Harvard University
Tsinghua University
Temple University
Doctoral advisor William Gemmell Cochran
Doctoral students

Donald Bruce Rubin (born December 22, 1943) is an Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Harvard University, [1] where he chaired the department of Statistics for 13 years. [2] He also works at Tsinghua University in China and at Temple University in Philadelphia. [3]


He is most well known for the Rubin causal model, a set of methods designed for causal inference with observational data, and for his methods for dealing with missing data.

In 1977 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. [4]


Rubin was born in Washington, D.C. into a family of lawyers. [5] As an undergraduate Rubin attended the accelerated Princeton University PhD program where he was one of a cohort of 20 students mentored by the physicist John Wheeler (the intention of the program was to confer degrees within 5 years of freshman matriculation). He switched to psychology and graduated in 1965. He began graduate school in psychology at Harvard with a National Science Foundation fellowship, but because his statistics background was considered insufficient, he was asked to take introductory statistics courses.

Rubin became a PhD student again, this time in Statistics under William Cochran at the Harvard Statistics Department. After graduating from Harvard in 1970, he began working at the Educational Testing Service in 1971, and served as a visiting faculty member at Princeton's new statistics department. He published his major papers on the Rubin causal model in 1974–1980, and a textbook on the subject with econometrician Guido Imbens. [6]

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  1. "Donald B. Rubin". Harvard College. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  2. "Donald B. Rubin" (PDF). Harvard College. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  3. "Fox School, Temple University, appoints Rubin and Airoldi". IMS Bulletin. Institute of Mathematical Statistics. September 1, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  4. View/Search Fellows of the ASA, accessed 2016-08-20.
  5. Li, Fan; Mealli, Fabrizia (2014). "A Conversation with Donald B. Rubin". Statistical Science . 29 (3): 439–457. arXiv: 1404.1789 . Bibcode:2014arXiv1404.1789L. doi:10.1214/14-STS489. S2CID   58334768.
  6. "Causal Inference in Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences". Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 24 February 2015.