Questions about the history of statistics.

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6
votes
1answer
83 views

What are some good references on how probability theory got mathematically rigorous?

I am working on a term paper for an analysis course and I thought it would be interesting to talk about the connection between analysis and probability theory. Honestly, it would also benefit me a lot ...
5
votes
0answers
74 views

story about sampling from the phone book?

I was talking with someone today about sampling and vaguely remember a story about some very well-respected statistician recommending systematic sampling from the phone book in a particular legal ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

When was importance sampling first stated?

I'm trying to find a year of publication of the importance sampling technique. Does anyone has a reference on this? I'm tempted to say 1970 (Hastings paper), but I would like to know if anyone knew ...
24
votes
4answers
842 views

Is the “hybrid” between Fisher and Neyman-Pearson approaches to statistical testing really an “incoherent mishmash”?

There exists a certain school of thought according to which the most widespread approach to statistical testing is a "hybrid" between two approaches: that of Fisher and that of Neyman-Pearson; these ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

odds ratio: the purpose and interpretation

Could someone please explain the purpose of the odds ratio and how it could be interpreted (i.e., the origin of their usage is in primary interest for me)? Why don't people simply use the difference ...
8
votes
1answer
289 views

Proof / derivation of skewness and kurtosis formulas

Can anyone explain to me where the formula of skewness or kurtosis comes from? (I mean its derivation.) What's the logic behind it? Who proved it?
8
votes
2answers
443 views

History: the role of statistics in astronomy

I recently boldly claimed in front of a group of fairly smart eighth grade students that astronomy contributed greatly to the foundations of statistics and many statistical concepts were invented for ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Example of the impact of statistical inference in society

When giving a talk or explaining my latest results, several colleagues of mine downsize the importance of the statistical analysis part as being "only statistics". In my opinion, the impact of ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

How exactly did statisticians agree to using (n-1) as the unbiased estimator for population variance without simulation?

The formula for computing variance has $(n-1)$ in the denominator: $\sigma^2 = \frac{\sum_{i=1}^N (x_i - \mu)^2}{n-1}$ I've always wondered why. However, reading and watching a few good videos about ...
8
votes
1answer
764 views

How did Karl Pearson come up with the chi-squared statistic?

How did Pearson come up with the following Pearson chi-squared statistics in 1900? $$ K = \sum \frac{(O_{ij} -E_{ij})^2}{E_{ij}} $$ that $$ K \sim \chi^2 $$ Did he have chi-squared in mind and ...
2
votes
1answer
229 views

History of Mendeleev periodic table of elements as a data visualization

I am looking for a comprehensive and authoritative reference (journal article or book) dealing with the history of Mendeleev periodic table of elements as a data visualization. I am especially ...
2
votes
1answer
770 views

How did Efron imagine the bootstrap?

Do you know Bradley Efron? He's a great man. How did Efron imagine or think about "bootstrap" for the first time?
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Picture of Robert Wedderburn

I am going to present generalized linear models (GLM) to a small group of people. I like to talk about the contributors of such remarkable work; however, it is hard to find a picture of Robert ...
10
votes
2answers
574 views

Why are the geometric distribution and hypergeometric distribution called as such?

Why are the geometric distribution and hypergeometric distribution called "geometric" and "hypergoemetric" respectively? Is it because their pmfs take some special form? Thanks!
8
votes
2answers
245 views

Why did Thomas Bayes find Bayes' theorem so challenging?

This is more of a history of science question, but I hope it's on-topic here. I've read that Thomas Bayes only managed to discover Bayes' theorem for the special case of a uniform prior, and even ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Where does the term “covariate” come from in statistics?

Wikipedia has an acceptable definition of covariate, which matches exactly the Dictionary of Epidemiology. According to Webster, the first known use was in 1965. But the Google n-gram viewer has it ...
8
votes
2answers
258 views

Fisher for dummies?

Short version: is there an introduction to Ronald Fisher's writings (papers and books) on statistics that is aimed at those with little or no background in statistics? I'm thinking of something like ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

“grouped error distribution”?

I can't figure out the meaning of emphasized phrase in the following: Representing a grouped error distribution by a multinomial distribution, Simpson (1756), Langrange (1776), and Laplace (1776) ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

Where to find data on the use of statistical methods in Psychology?

I'm trying to find out, how the use of statistical methods in Psychology have been changing through history. For example, are regression models more popular now than ten years ago? When did simple ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

Timeline of machine learning and data mining breakthroughs

Is there any timeline or historical overview of the most important breakthroughs in machine learning and data mining?
7
votes
2answers
173 views

What are some good resources for the history of time series analysis?

I have checked out the answer to this question on stats.stackexchange: What are good resources providing a history of statistics? Indeed, the Stigler book "Statistics on the Table" looks excellent ...
46
votes
8answers
4k views

Regarding p-values, why 1% and 5%? Why not 6% or 10%?

Regarding p-values, I am wondering why 1% and 5% seem to be the gold standard for "statistical significance". Why not other values, like 6% or 10%? Is there a fundamental mathematical reason for ...
13
votes
1answer
569 views

What statistical methods are archaic and should be omitted from textbooks? [closed]

In answering a question about a confidence interval for a binomial proportion I pointed out the fact that the normal approximation is an unreliable method that is archaic. It should not be taught as a ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

What was Student's (Gosset's) contribution in formulating the t-test?

A recent question, related question, and cited source, recently made me aware that the $N-1$ correction for sample estimates of population variance is referred to as Bessel's correction. Bessel was ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

What principled arguments are made with data?

Consider the frequentist argument: "I will believe A since not-A makes the data improbable". Consider the Bayesian argument: "I will believe A since given my beliefs on A and the data generating ...
3
votes
4answers
200 views

Who are some famous USSR/Russian Statistics/probability academic researchers? [closed]

Who are some famous USSR/Russian Statistics/probability academic researchers? Are russian (current Russia and former USSR) strong in this field academically?
1
vote
2answers
171 views

Data analysis on multiuser environment

I have following environment that I'd like to analyze. My company is divided in two teams: Insert Team (composed by 150 persons) Quality Check Team (composed by 10 persons) Suppose that all ...
3
votes
1answer
293 views

Who invented profile maximum likelihood estimation?

Could anyone give me some information on who invented profile maximum likelihood estimation or who first use profile maximum likelihood estimation and the short history of profile maximum likelihood ...
14
votes
3answers
404 views

Periods in history of statistics

The history of many fields of science can be divided into a small number of time intervals that often begin with some important discovery. But I have never seen something similar in timeline of ...
8
votes
3answers
426 views

t-test and t-distribution etymology

Okay, I'm aware of the fact that Gosset came up with t distribution, but what is the etymology of "t". How did "t" end up in t-test and t distribution?
40
votes
6answers
3k views

Where did the frequentist-Bayesian debate go?

The world of statistics was divided between frequentists and Bayesians. These days it seems everyone does a bit of both. How can this be? If the different approaches are suitable for different ...
3
votes
1answer
660 views

Origin of the Naïve Bayes classifier?

I've looking around Google Scholar for the earliest mention of this particular classifier and have not had much luck finding a definitive source. I've seen some sources cite as late as the 1980s and ...
7
votes
3answers
123 views

What are good resources providing a history of statistics?

What are good online or offline resources that give an overview of the history of statistics and the main breakthrough in statistics until now? I have read the page on History of Statistics on ...
1
vote
2answers
366 views

When was the cross-correlation function invented? And what was the motivation behind it?

In a previous question I asked about the history of auto-correlation In this question I'm interested in the discovery process behind cross-correlation. When was it invented? Was it independently ...
2
votes
1answer
323 views

When was the autocorrelation function invented? And what was the motivation for it?

I'm just very curious about the discovery process behind the autocorrelation function. When was it invented? Was it independently invented multiple times, for example? What was the motivation for ...
7
votes
1answer
163 views

Who first developed the idea of “sampling distributions”?

Who created sampling distributions? I have looked everywhere and I'm writing a paper, but, so far, all I've been able to come up with is the theory and the definition. Please help me find the who, ...
14
votes
2answers
457 views

Statistics, war stories, data intuition

I think it is fair to say statistics is an applied science so when averages and standard deviations are calculated it is because someone is looking to make some decisions based on those numbers. Part ...
30
votes
35answers
5k views

Most famous statisticians

What are the most important statisticians, and what is it that made them famous? (Reply just one scientist per answer please.)
47
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the 'big problems' in statistics?

Mathematics has its famous Millennium Problems (and, historically, Hilbert's 23), questions that helped to shape the direction of the field. I have little idea, though, what the Riemann Hypotheses ...
5
votes
11answers
987 views

Revolutions in statistics for the last 50 years? [closed]

Let's say chat is a better place for such discussions. --mbq What areas of statistics have been substantially revolutionised in the last 50 years? For example, about 40 years ago, Akaike with ...
128
votes
136answers
37k views

Famous statistician quotes

What is your favorite statistician quote? This is community wiki, so please one quote per answer.