Tales of Statisticians

Statistics too has its heroes, and it may humanize the subject to mention some of them here. Mathematical details have been avoided, and the history of philosophy has been largely evaded, but these sketches may at least help to suggest that statistical techniques emerged a step at a time, for real reasons; that real people invented them; and that once they were invented, real people sometimes further refined them, or continued to argue about their validity and implications.

For further acquaintance with the personal side of mathematics, see the biographical sketches by Bell, the entries in the International Encyclopedia of Statistics and in Heyde, the monographs of Reid, the interviews of Albers and his collaborators, the surveys by Salsburg and Stigler, and the "MacTutor" History of Mathematics site at St Andrews University. This last, and the histories by David and Walker, are especially recommended for the numerate. A debt is here gratefully acknowledged to the above, and to individuals who have contributed additional material in their possession.

Statistics is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce Brooks  

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4 Sept 2004 / Contact The Project / Exit to Statistics Page