The Lecture Series is named after a remarkable German-American scientist, Hermann Otto Hirschfeld (H. O. Hartley or HOH for short). After starting his academic career in Germany, he immigrated to the United Kingdom and later in 1953 he became a Visiting Research Professor at Iowa State College (today: Iowa State University). As a brilliant statistician he then attained the position of the 74th president of the ASA (American Statistical Association) and was instrumental in establishing statistics as an important scientific discipline at American universities. In 1963 he founded Texas A&M University's Institute of Statistics, which up unitl that time did not exist.
In this spirit the Hermann Otto Hirschfeld Lecture has been held at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since 2003 in memory of an excellent scientist and an advocate of quantitative methods.