Passings: Professor Helene Massam was a leading researcher in theoretical statistics

A candle

The York University community mourns the loss of long-serving professor Hélène Massam. Professor Massam died on Aug. 22 following a vascular accident in the brain.

Hélène Massam
Hélène Massam

As an accomplished statistician, Prof. Massam joined the department in 1984 after obtaining a PhD in Numerical Analysis at McGill. She worked at York for 35 years. Over time, she became interested in theoretical statistics, and became one of world’s leading researchers in the subject, and a founder of York University’s PhD program in Statistics. She was deeply appreciated and respected by graduate students as an outstanding mentor and teacher who devoted herself to helping her students achieve her high expectations. She was mentor to many statisticians who joined the department in the last two decades. She was very close to many members of the department.

Professor Hélène Massam was named a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2008 for her great contributions to Wishart distributions and graphical models.

She will be deeply missed by faculty, staff and students.