Prof. John Nelder, one of the more remarkable British statisticians, has died, at the age of 85.
I never had the good fortune to meet him, but his work had a great influence on me. McCullagh and Nelder, Generalized Linear Models, was my first technical statistics book, as an epidemiology PhD student, and I used Genstat, which he originated, throughout my PhD. His clear explanations have stayed with me, and I am proud to recycle them to my own students (with attribution!). Genstat also showed me a way past the more ‘black box’ approach of SPSS and SAS, to the interactive data analysis, exemplified by R. I’d like to thank him, and offer my condolences to his family.