The Life and Work of Bland Ewing

This site is dedicated to the life and work of Bland Ewing. I am writing his biography, and am actively working with him and others on his ideas on population ethology modeling.

My Involvement with Bland Ewing

Bland Ewing was my first mentor. I worked for him at UC-Berkeley during the summers while I was an undergrad at Caltech in the early 1970s. By the late 1970s we lost touch, and only reconnected in the mid 1990s. At that time, Bland was suffering in a serious way from Huntington's Disease, the same malady that took his father, grandfather, and Woody Guthrie. Bland Ewing is now approaching 70. His mind is quite active, while he is largely confined to his apartment due to low energy and difficulty walking. Bland' short-term memory is sporadic, and he ocassionally has trouble with names, but his depth of reasoning is phenomenal, as it always was.

During the past two years, Bland and I, along with Jim Barbieri and more recently Bob Luck, have been reviewing the modeling ideas that Bland first proposed in his intended dissertation. As near as any of us can tell, these ideas have not been superseded in the past quarter century. In fact, they may be more relevant today than ever.


Ewing Bibliography


Quantitative Population Ethology Software

We are developing software to implement the quantitative population ethology simulation approach using the R statistical computing system. Recent developments include (a) R can run on large supercomputers such as the SGI Origin 2000; (b) R has a smooth interface to Postgres, the database successor to Ingress; (c) R will be embedded in the Internet-based, distributed computing CORBA-standard OmegaHat project. These all herald ready extensions of our code to larger and larger problems.

Please read the Practical Model Building paper for detailed information on our code. First one needs to install the R system, however. See the R Project for instructions.

Both our code, and the R system, are freely available and covered by the GNU General Public License.
Brian Yandell (yandell@stat.wisc.edu)