Professor Erling B. Andersen deceased a few days before his 65 year anniversary September 18, 2004. He planned to retire by the end of 2004, but sudden illness made an unexpected end of these plans.
As the first elected chairman of the Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics, he was a key person in creating a platform for young graduated statisticians, which. by the end of the 1960's, were the first result of changes in the field of mathematics at the University of Copenhagen. (At a meeting the Society in February, 2005, Svend Kreiner presented "The Danish Rasch tradition: An appreciative examination of Erling B. Andersen's contributions to the theory of Rasch models.")
Erling considered himself as the first true student of G. Rasch and was employed for many years in positions related to Georg Rasch as a person and, in particular, related to theoretical developments of what later are denoted as Rasch Models. In a way this relationship never changed as a student-teacher relationship, although Erling soon contributed by independent research to various aspects of analyses of the Rasch Model. Maybe Erling too often stressed the technical issues of the models rather than the philosophy behind the models? His thesis "Conditional Inference and Models for Measuring" of 1973 contained the later widely used conditional testing of the Rasch Model. We remember G. Rasch as the first official opponent when Erling was defending his thesis, taking the chair and addressing for a very, very long time just the interpretation of the title "Models for Measuring" - should it be "for measuring" or, rather "for measurements"?
Along with a number of international papers directed towards the analysis of the general Rasch Model for more than two response categories, Erling's books "Discrete Statistical Models with Social Science Applications" (1980) and "The Statistical Analysis of categorical Data" (1994) became standard text books for many students in the field of analysis by latent variables relating to, for example, generalizations of the Rasch Models.
Erling changed over the last couple of years from a person always cheerful and interested in matters outside his own world to be more introvert and to be not very easy to socialize with. Many of us, his colleagues and friends, are proud to have known Erling and highly appreciate what he did for the international spread of knowledge about the Rasch Models. We are at the same time sad that he didn't get a better opportunity to harvest the fruits of his life works as Professor Emeritus of G. Rasch's former chair at the Institute of Statistics, University of Copenhagen.
Prof. Peter Allerup
Department of Educational Psychology
The Danish University of Education
Erling B. Andersen: In memoriam, Allerup P. Rasch Measurement Transactions, 2005, 19:1 p. 1008
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