David Blackwell, 91, Statistician and Mathematician, Dies – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com

by Scott Smith

Mr. Blackwell described himself as a “dilettante” in a 1983 interview for “Mathematical People,” a collection of profiles and interviews. “Basically, I’m not interested in doing research and I never have been,” he said. “I’m interested in understanding, which is quite a different thing. And often to understand something you have to work it out yourself because no one else has done it.”