John Lewis Knight, Professor of Economics at the University of Western Ontario, passed away on January 21, 2016 in London, UK, following a nine month battle with cancer. Knight was born in Earlwood, NSW, Australia, on September 12, 1948. He earned a B. Comm degree in Statistics in 1971, a M. Comm degree in Econometrics in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Economics in 1980 all at the University of New South Wales. Knight began his academic career as a Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, and was a Senior Lecturer there from 1983-1986. He visited the University of Western Ontario in 1985 and was subsequently recruited to Western in 1987, where he taught econometrics and financial econometrics for 28 years. Knight maintained friendships globally with a wide circle of people frequently visiting Birbeck College at University of London, Trinity College at Cambridge, the University of New South Wales, and Hiroshima University.
John Knight was an internationally known expert in the fields of econometrics and financial econometrics. His early research in econometrics involved the application of distribution theory to economic problems. Later, he specialized in the use of the empirical characteristic function in the estimation of financial time series data. He published 60 papers in journals and edited volumes, and continuously held NSERC grants throughout his career at Western. Many of his papers were co-authored with his long time friend and collaborator, Stephen Satchell. Knight and Satchell also edited four books together on various econometric aspects of financial markets including forecasting volatility and performance measurement. In 2002, he was awarded the Econometric Theory Plura Scripsit Award for having published over 15 papers in Econometric Theory. He was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Asset Management for 10 years from 2004-2014, and he was an Honorary Associate of the Financial Econometric Projects at Cambridge from 2002 to 2009.
At Western, Knight is remembered most for his work with graduate students. He supervised or was a committee member for over 25 students. He was a thoughtful and considerate supervisor who kept track of his students and their career successes long after they finished their degrees. He also often formed long-term working relationships with his students; having co-authored 13 papers with former students.
Recently, Knight played a lead role in the development of a new Master of Financial Economics (MFE) at Western. As its External Director in 2014-2015, he was instrumental in stewarding new donor-sponsored scholarships which provide financial support to students, and he expanded the program’s employer network to improve internship and full-time job prospects for MFE students.
John Knight was predeceased by his loving wife, Mary Therese (McGrane) (2008), and his parents, John Knight (1972) and Patricia Gloria (Haigh) Knight (1995). He was a loving brother to Patricia Dawn Gibb and Lynette Anne Rocca of NSW. He will be missed by his extended family, colleagues, students and friends world-wide.
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