The New York Times provides today a tribute to a remarkable professor who passed in December.
Leo Goodman was a statistician and sociologist who revolutionized both fields. Prior to him, statistical analysis of data about humans was largely limited to numerical data such as height, income and age.
Goodman gave us the statistical tools to enable analysis of non-numeric data such as race, gender, social mobility, generational differences, and political identification. Most of the conversations we have today about these topics are based in part on his work.
Brilliant, Goodman graduated from elite Stuyvesant High School at 16, was valedictorian at Syracuse University at age 20, and had his doctorate from Princeton by age 22.
A nerd who made friends easily, his circle included novelist Saul Bellow when he was on the faculty at Chicago and his wife’s college friend, poet Sylvia Plath.
He passed in December at age 92, from complications of COVID-19.