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Statisticians of the Centuries Hardcover – August 24, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0387953298 ISBN-10: 0387953299 Edition: 2001st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2001 edition (August 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387953299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387953298
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,124,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This interesting and informative book summarizes developments in statistics. Concerned only with contributions by researchers born prior to the 20th century, articles are presented chronologically by date of birth of the statistician. More than 100 researchers are represented, and 75 authors from all over the globe contributed biographies. This volume arose through the initiative of the International Statistical Institute (an international organization founded in 1885 with statisticians from all nationalities and walks of life as its members) whose primary concern is to further the cause of statistics and to make the public aware of the role and contributions of statistics in all aspects of life. The book is organized chronologically; all developments and contributions through the 16th century are followed by material from the 17th through 20th centuries. Some of the salient features of this volume are the alphabetical listing of statisticians, chapter bibliographies, useful index, and an indicator pointing to an internal linkage between chapters. An excellent resource on the historical development of statistics, this book will appeal to all those interested in the historical development of statistical techniques and concepts. Recommended for all academic libraries. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate students."
CHOICE, May 2002

"This book arose out of an International Statistical Institute initiative. Its objective is stated to be to demonstrate the achievement of statistics to a broad audience and to commemorate the work of celebrated statisticians. This demanding objective has been outstandingly well met. The choice of individuals for inclusion, taken from those born before 31 December 1900. ... Most entries have a photograph, a very short abstract and typically a four or five page essay, followed by a short bibliography. The essays are lucid, informative, sympathetic to their subject and most contain a pleasing mixture of technical and personal detail. The editroial team and the contributors are to be congratulated on an important and enjoyable contribution to the general literature on our subject."
ISI Short Book Reviews, April 2002

This is an important book. It provides a broad historical introduction to one of the most important strands of mathematical thought in the twentieth century, and it does so by highlighting the contributions of key players from many disciplines. It's also a book that should be in the library of any institutions that wants its students to have well-researched and well-referenced alternative to the random biographical information that a typical Internet search engine will find out on the world wide web. But the tone and content of the book will make it interesting primarily to professional historians and statisticians looking to find their roots." (Andrew Leahy, The Mathematical Association of America, MAA Online)

About the Author

The editors are the well-known statisticians Chris Heyde and Eugene Seneta. Chris Heyde is Professor of Statistics at both Columbia University in New York and the Australian National University in Canberra. He is also Director of the Center for Applied Probability at Columbia. He has twice served as Vice President of the ISI, and also as President of the ISI's Bernoulli Society. Eugene Seneta is Professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Sydney and a Member of the ISI. His historical writings focus on 19th Century France and the Russian Empire. He has taught courses on the history of probability-based statistics in U.S. universities. Both editors are Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science and have, at various times, been awarded the Pitman Medal of the Statistical Society of Australia for their distinguished research contributions. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Chernick on August 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful collection of biographies of the world's leading probabilists and statisticians beginning with Cardano (1501-1576) and ending with Deming (1900-1993). Along the way we learn about the lives and contributions of 103 individuals by 75 experts in the field. For professional statisticians like myself it is interesting to learn about the lives of so many of the famous statisticians whose work we are very familiar with. Included among those that are very well-known are R. A. Fisher, W. S, Gosset (Student), W. E. Deming, W. Shewhart, H. Cramer, H. Hotelling, E. S. Pearson, K. Pearson, G. Cox, F. Wilcoxon, E. Gumbel, A. A. Markov, F. Galton, J. Neyman, G. W. Snedecor, P. C. Mahalanobis, J. W. Lindeberg, C. E. Bonferroni, C. E. Gauss, P. L. Chebyshev, F. Y. Edgeworth, G. Snedecor, R. von Mises, T. Bayes and more. But even more interesting to me are the many names that I had never heard of and was curious to read about including, F. A. Shcherbina, G. H. Knibbs. A. L. Bowley, H. E. Hurst, P. D. En'ko, G. von Mayr, and J. P. Sussmilch. This book is fun to read. Each statistician has a picture or portrait included and there is lots to learn about the men and women and the profession. With any list there are always some that you wonder how they could be excluded. For me, W. Feller and A. Wald are glaring omissions. None of my favorite contemporaries are there but this is probably because the list is restricted to those who are deceased.
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By Read and think on August 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a tremendously useful and very well written book.
The articles are written by people who are really expert on each reviewed statistician and in some cases have actually worked with them.
The style is crystal clear, engaging, very often rivetting, accessible to the general public, and covers the broad aspect of the life, the work and also the social/political context of each statistician and their links to others.
Each article is just the perfect length: very well synthetised. You are left with a very good idea of each statistician without having lost too much time. High reward per time spent.
This is the book I always first consult when I encounter the name of a statistician I am not familiar.
HIGHLY recommended.
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