Announcement: William Fairley Elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association

Posted By:
Mares Stellfox
Director, Client Services
Analysis & Inference

July 21, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, PA   William B. Fairley, PhD, President of Analysis & Inference, Inc., has been elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the world’s largest professional organization of statisticians.

Dr. Fairley co-founded Analysis & Inference, Inc. in 1979 to provide statistical consulting for business, government, non-profits, law firms and individuals. Projects include sampling, data analysis and modeling, forecasting, machine learning, regression analysis, research design, and risk analysis.

William B. Fairley, PhD, President of Analysis & Inference, Inc.

Dr. Fairley’s significant contributions to the use of statistics and probability in legal evidence include:

  • He identified a statistical bias in the calculation of federal penalties levied against states for mistakes made in determining Food Stamp, Welfare and Medicaid benefits, resulting in the return of millions of dollars to the states.
  • On behalf of the Insurance Commissioner of Massachusetts, he authored a novel application of the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) to the regulation of rates of return in property-casualty insurance. The method was used in numerous decisions of the Commissioner.
  • With Michael O. Finkelstein, he wrote a Harvard Law Review article proposing ways to use statistics to assess criminal identification evidence. This article has been widely cited in legal publications and court decisions.
  • For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he used the prices of insurance policies on nuclear power plants to provide a market-determined estimate of the probability of a major nuclear accident.

Over the course of a long career, Dr. Fairley has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and collaborated with Frederick Mosteller of Harvard University to edit the book Statistics and Public Policy.

ASA Fellowships are highly competitive. The number of recipients each year is limited to one-third of one percent of the membership. Dr. Fairley and other newly chosen Fellows will be recognized at an awards ceremony in August, during the American Statistical Association’s Joint Statistical Meetings in Baltimore.