UCR

Statistics



D.V. Gokhale


D.V. Gokhale

D.V. Gokhale

Emeritus Professor in Statistics


With regret we announce that Emeritus Professor D.V. Gokhale of the Department of Statistics at UC-Riverside passed away on February 27, 2016, shortly before his 80th birthday.  He had been in ill-health for several months and ultimately succumbed to pneumonia.

Professor Gokhale studied under a Fulbright travel grant through the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the 1960s, and received his PhD from UC Berkeley under the mentorship of Professor Erich Lehmann.  Following his graduation in 1966 from UC Berkeley, Professor Gokhale spent a few years at the University of Pune, India before coming to UC Riverside in the spring of 1970.  He was among the first faculty members hired by F.N. David, the first chair of the newly formed Department of Biostatistics, shortly thereafter renamed the Department of Statistics. His entire career was spent at UCR, save for a few short-term visiting assignments. He retired from UCR in 1999, but remained active in the department through research with colleagues and periodic voluntary teaching.  He taught effectively and enthusiastically at all levels and indeed was a popular teacher right up to and including the last academic year.

Professor Gokhale was a recognized scholar in the areas of information theory, discrete data analysis and nonparametric statistics that included the analysis of multidimensional contingency tables and correspondence analysis. Professor Gokhale was widely known for his book “The Information in Contingency Tables” (Statistics:  Textbooks and Monographs, Vol. 23, Marcel Dekker, 1978) written in conjunction with Professor Solomon Kullback of George Washington University.  This text was the basis for his popular graduate course in the analysis of discrete data.

He also collaborated with an interdisciplinary Carcinogenic Risk Assessment group at UCR that evaluated the scientific, statistical, economic and philosophical validity of crucial aspects of toxicological and environmental carcinogen risk assessment. His role was to evaluate statistical methodologies in these fields and propose modifications when necessary. He evaluated statistical inference in the areas of epidemiology, animal bioassays and the extrapolation of inferences from animals to human beings in light of the valid use of statistical theories.      

His election as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association was in recognition of his research and teaching accomplishments together with his contributions to the statistics profession. He was also an elected Fellow of the International Statistical Institute. D.V. remained active as a researcher up to the last few weeks of his life.

Professor Gokhale served as chair of the department from 1985 to 1988, following F.N. David and S. James Press.  He also served as Advisor for the UC Education Abroad Program in Southeast Asia as well as Graduate Advisor in the Applied Statistics PhD Program.  During his career at UCR, D.V. Gokhale mentored 13 PhD students and was a strong advocate for many others. Affectionately known as “Dr. G,” he was an open and embracing figure in the department, always looking for the potential in every student and searching out opportunities for them to demonstrate it. It was his custom to gather with students and faculty on Friday afternoons for conversation, games and relaxation at The Barn, a well-known UCR campus pub. 

His transition to Emeritus status did not reduce his commitment to the well-being of the department, nor his dedicated action as champion of beleaguered students. DV commented that his experience as a Fulbright scholar studying in the US was one of the most important in his life, and it was in this light that the “The DV Gokhale International Grants/Loans in Statistics Program,” was established through the IIE, Institute of International Education, by donations and a gift from Professor Gokhale.  This program provides grants to all undergraduate and graduate students to study statistics in the United States and India, focusing on helping Indian students to study statistics in the U.S. and American students to study statistics and related subjects in India and to enable faculty members in this program to participate in exchanges between the two countries.

During the latter stages of his career, and especially after his retirement, D.V. was active in the area of promoting statistical training at all school levels.  Between 2003 and 2015, he was a regular reader of Advanced Placement Statistics exams, serving in a leadership role for the last 5 of those years, and was a role model to everyone there (both high school teachers and college faculty) for his commitment as a Professor to the importance of educating students in statistics.  The annual Gokhale Undergraduate Lecture, established in 2012 to engage undergraduate students in statistical research, was an inovation inspired by Professor D.V. Gokhale.  He contributed funds for this lecture and supported the Highlander Statistics Society (HiSS) and other undergraduate Statistics activities including visits to Google, Amgen and the UCLA DataFest. 

D.V. is survived by his wife, Asha, his daughter Dalika and husband Robert, his son Vinay and wife Rani, and four grandchildren.  It is a pleasure to be able to say that D.V. will be remembered as a kind and considerate friend by all who had occasion to interact with him. He was known for his ready smile, his wonderful sense of humor and his joy in daily living.  He had the rare quality of patience and willingness to listen to others.  Students in particular will miss him.  We all will: we have lost a very special friend.

Department of Statistics, UC Riverside

If you wish to make a donation to the Dr. D.V. Gokhale Fund, please click on the link http://statistics.ucr.edu/gift.html for further information.           


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