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Stefan D. Leigh

Stefan Leigh was an SED staff member at NIST for over 30 years until his retirement in December 2011. He holds a BA (1967) in mathematics from Princeton University and an MS in mathematical statistics from the University of Maryland (1990). In the late 60’s he did graduate work in commutative algebra and group theory under Claude Chevalley at the University of Paris. Prior to joining NIST, Stefan served in the US Army Special Forces (1969-1972), did paralegal work for the District of Columbia, and computer programming for the US General Services Administration. Stefan is an applied statistician engaged in collaborations with NIST scientists. He has co-authored more than 80 publications.

Stefan collaborated with hundreds of NIST scientists, and led teams of NIST statisticians, to solve problems in areas that include: mobile home fire standards (HUD), asbestos abatement (EPA), mercury credits (EPA), standard reference materials, extreme winds, Bremsstrahlung, DNA fingerprinting (FBI), cryptographic random number generators, face recognition algorithms, and Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Monitors (DHS). Stefan has developed and taught multiple courses on statistical methods for NIST scientists, and co-organized a Conference on Extreme Value Theory and Applications (1993). He has been a mentor for both the NRC postdoctoral and undergraduate SURF programs at NIST.

Technical Areas of Research and Consulting:

  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Saddlepoint and small-sample asymptotics
  • fundamental constants
  • Bremsstrahlung modeling
  • Forensic DNA QA/QC
  • Asbestos abatement metrology issues
  • Electrochemical noise
  • Extreme value theory - extreme winds -
  • Interval censoring
  • Changepoint analysis
  • Multivariate modeling of cement/concrete

Professional Activities and Societies and Standards Activities:

  • IMS, Member


Mathematical Statistician
Statistical Engineering Division


  • B.A. (Mathematics), Princeton University
  • M.S. (Mathematical Statistics), University of Maryland

Phone: 301-975-2853
Email: stefan.leigh@nist.gov
Fax: 301-975-3144