The LIfBi mourns the death of Professor Dr. Susanne Rässler who passed away unexpectedly on August 29, 2018, at the age of 55. The Institute has lost a passionate and exceptional academic who was much loved and respected by all.
From 2004, Susanne Rässler was Head of the Department Statistical Methods at the Institute for Employment Research. In 2007, she received the professorship for the Chair of Statistics and Econometrics at the University of Bamberg.
Already since her studies and during her entire scientific career, Susanne Rässler had been an active member on countless academic committees. These memberships included, to name but a few, the Census Commission from 2007 to 2013 and the German Data Forum from 2008 to 2014.
Ever since the beginning of her academic career, she had dealt with a highly specialized field of statistics—that is, multiple imputation of missing data. Because she thus claimed a new research field in German-speaking academia, Susanne Rässler sought and found an inspiring exchange of ideas with many acclaimed national and international researchers. Professor Dr. Donald B. Rubin, Harvard University, was one of her closest academic friends.
This international network and her unique expertise in key fields of survey research had made her one of the founding members of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) who was invaluable for ensuring its claim to excellence. From 2009 to 2013, she led the NEPS methods group and subsequently served as Scientific Head of the Research Unit “Sampling, Weighting, and Imputation” at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories.
Besides her research activities in the field of statistical analysis of incomplete data she studied and published on the topics of sampling theory, data fusion, and data anonymization, as well as Bayesian models.
It is not only her unique expert knowledge that leaves behind a deep void, but most of all her way of meeting and touching the people around her with affection and appreciative sincerity. Susanne Rässler will be sorely missed. We are extending our sincerest condolences to her husband and to her family.