University of Washington - Department of Statistics & NRCSE
Georges Matheron has been an enormously influential figure in defining the principles and basic methodology of what is considered Geostatistics and for similary (co-) defining the field of Mathematical Morphology. And yet, while his name is now well-known, wide-spread recognition of his work in Geostatistics, at least in the English-speaking world, was late in coming. Most people know Geostatistics through the work of his students. I will briefly review Matheron's career and name some of his major contributions in Geostatistics and Mathematical Morphology. I will then tell you of my early experience attempting to read his work, discuss some of the key elements of his foundational work in the 1960's, and follow that with a brief presentation of the elements of kriging, as given in Noel Cressie's paper on The Origins of Kriging. I will note a strident debate that took place in the pages of the journal Mathematical Geology in the mid-1980's over the scientific value of Matheron's geostatistics. This debate motivated the translation of Matheron's "Estimating and Choosing: An Essay on Probability in Practice", from which I will take my final quotation to spur further interest in his work.