statistics

Sir Francis Galton – Polymath

Sir Francis Galton – Polymath

On February 16, 1822, the cousin of Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton was born. Galton the polymath, was known for his fundamental contributions to anthropology, geographics, genetics, psychology, statistics, and eugenics. He also was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence, and introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for…
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Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Statistics

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Statistics

On June 29, 1893, Indian statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was born. Mahalanobis is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure and for being one of the members of the first Planning commission of free India. He also made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India. He also devised fractile graphical analysis to study socioeconomic conditions. He applied statistics to issues of crop yields and planning for flood control. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis…
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Jerzy Neyman – Architect of Modern Theoretical Statistics

Jerzy Neyman – Architect of Modern Theoretical Statistics

On April 16, 1894, Polish mathematician and statistician Jerzy Neyman was born. Neyman was one of the principal architects of modern theoretical statistics. He first introduced the modern concept of a confidence interval into statistical hypothesis testing and co-devised null hypothesis testing in collaboration with Egon Pearson. “Statistics is the servant to all sciences.”, Jerzy Neyman Youth and Education Jerzy Neyman was born into a Polish family in Bendery, in the Bessarabia…
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Karl Pearson and Mathematical Statistics

Karl Pearson and Mathematical Statistics

On March 27, 1857, English mathematician and biostatistician Karl Pearson was born. Pearson has been credited with establishing the discipline of mathematical statistics. He founded the world’s first university statistics department at University College London in 1911, and contributed significantly to the field of biometrics, meteorology, theories of social Darwinism and eugenics. “It was Karl Pearson, a man with an unquenchable ambition for scholarly recognition and the kind of drive and determination that…
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William Edwards Deming and Total Quality Management

William Edwards Deming and Total Quality Management

On October 14, 1900, American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant William Edwards Deming was born. Deming often is referred to as the father of “Total Quality Management.” After WW II, he contributed to Japan‘s economic recovery by recommending statistical methods of quality control in industrial production. His method embraced carefully tallying product defects, examining their causes, correcting the problems, and then tracking the results of these changes on subsequent…
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Abraham de Moivre and the Doctrine of Chances

Abraham de Moivre and the Doctrine of Chances

On May 26, 1667, French mathematician Abraham de Moivre was born. De Moivre is best known for de Moivre‘s formula, one of those that link complex numbers and trigonometry, and for his work on the normal distribution and probability theory. He was a friend of Isaac Newton, Edmond Halley, and James Stirling. De Moivre wrote a book on probability theory, The Doctrine of Chances, said to have been prized by gamblers. He…
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John Graunt and the Science of Demography

John Graunt and the Science of Demography

On April 18, 1674, English herberdasher and statistician John Graunt passed away. Graunt is considered by many historians to have founded the science of demography as the statistical study of human populations. For his published analysis of the parish records of christenings and deaths, he was made a charter member of the Royal Society. John Graunt was born on April 24, 1620, in London, the eldest of seven or eight children of Henry Graunt,…
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Nicolas de Condorcet and the Condorcet method

Nicolas de Condorcet and the Condorcet method

On March 28, 1794, French philosopher, mathematician, and early political scientist Nicolas de Condorcet died a mysterious death in prison after a period of flight from French Revolutionary authorities. He is probably best known for the Condorcet method, which in voting tally selects the candidate who would beat each of the other candidates in a run-off election. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he advocated a liberal economy, free and equal public instruction, constitutionalism,…
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Ernst Engel and Engel’s Law of Microeconomics

Ernst Engel and Engel’s Law of Microeconomics

On March 26, 1821, German statistician Ernst Engel was born. Engel was head of the Prussian Statistical Bureau (1860-82) and is best known for the “Engel curve,” or Engel‘s law, which states that the proportion of expenditure on food will fall as income rises, i.e. food is a necessary good. Ernst Engel studied at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, in Saxony, and on completing his curriculum traveled in Germany and…
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Daniel Bernoulli and the Bernoulli Principle

Daniel Bernoulli and the Bernoulli Principle

On February 8, 1700, (January 29, according to the then valid Julian calendar), Swiss mathematician and physicist Daniel Bernoulli was born. Being one of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family, Daniel Bernoulli is particularly remembered for his applications of mathematics to mechanics, especially fluid mechanics, and for his pioneering work in probability and statistics. His name is commemorated in the Bernoulli principle, a particular example of the conservation of energy,…
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