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Questions about the history of statistics.

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8 votes
5 answers
226 views

Who are some famous statisticians from the 20th or 21th century, who didn't have a formal training in statistics? [closed]

I'm looking for examples of people who made some important contributions to the field, yet their original training was not in statistics and they may have learned it 'on the job'. I'm interested in ...
6 votes
1 answer
307 views

Vintage of this lower bound on skewness for positive data with given mean and sd?

It turns out there is a lower bound on the skewness $g_1$ of any strictly positive set of data having a given mean μ and standard deviation σ: $$ g_1 > \sigma/\mu - \mu/\sigma. $$ Although ...
David C. Norris's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
265 views

Why was the term "significance" ($\alpha$) chosen for the probability of Type I error?

I'm currently studying "Statistics 1" as part of my Computer Science degree, and I'm having trouble understanding the concept of "significance." We were provided with the following ...
Yup8's user avatar
  • 93
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Earliest paper on stratified log rank test

What is the earliest paper that proposed the stratified version of the log-rank test? Unfortunately, finding citations/references in textbooks for established statistics procedures is difficult.
user1916067's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
92 views

How did Auguste Bravais come up with the regression line?

I am new to statistics and linear regression and I came across the face that auguste bravais discovered regression line but didn't realize it. Auguste Bravais (1811-1863), professor of astronomy and ...
Alexander Obidiegwu's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Who was the first to notice that the bias can be decomposed into model bias and estimation bias?

As the title says, who was the first to notice that the bias can be decomposed into model bias and estimation bias? For reference, I'm talking about the quantities here at page 224 eq. (7.14) https://...
rick's user avatar
  • 11
6 votes
1 answer
235 views

Hierarchy principle: who defined it first?

Different questions here deal with the problem of whether to include main effects in interaction models, for example here, here and here (for the opposite problem, omitting interaction coefficients ...
robertspierre's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
602 views

How was the correlation coefficient formula derived? [closed]

Disclaimer: I'm not a mathematician or a statistician, but I'm studying stats now and I have only a college algebra background. I'm truly impressed by how the correlation coefficient formula generates ...
A L's user avatar
  • 173
1 vote
0 answers
82 views

Was Fisher's disapproval of Barnard's test really "specious", as mentioned on Wikipedia?

The Wikipedia article on Barnard's test currently says: While first published in 1945 by G.A. Barnard, the test did not gain popularity due to the computational difficulty of calculating the p value ...
Daniela's user avatar
  • 57
5 votes
2 answers
150 views

Besides Barnard's test, what are some examples of statistical methods that have been overlooked due to non-technical reasons?

The Wikipedia article on Barnard's test says: While first published in 1945 by G.A. Barnard, the test did not gain popularity due to the computational difficulty of calculating the p value and Fisher’...
24 votes
9 answers
1k views

What are some good references on the history of ethics in statistics?

I'm looking for good or reputable references (books, articles, possibly documentaries, instructional videos, podcasts or radio shows, etc.) directly related to the history of ethics in statistics. The ...
2 votes
1 answer
52 views

Source for Bernstein's example for pairwise independence

The German Wikipedia gives the following example for events that are all pairwise independent, but not jointly independent: From four paper slips containing the numbers 112, 121, 211, and 222, one ...
cdalitz's user avatar
  • 5,392
1 vote
0 answers
54 views

How is the name of an effect size chosen?

The wikipedia page about effect sizes lists many effect sizes ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_size). Obviously, it's often the case that names are partly constructed by the name of the person ...
Daniela's user avatar
  • 57
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

Besides the Literary Digest poll of 1936, what are some famous examples of biased samples that led to erroneous conclusions?

The Literary Digest poll of 1936 is often mentioned to show the dangers of using convenience sampling. Are there other famous examples where a wrong sampling method led to erroneous conclusions? I ask ...
2 votes
1 answer
185 views

When and how was the Bernoulli distribution with real binomial proportion introduced?

I certainly should read Jakob Bernoulli's Ars Conjectandi again but let me share my concerns. I'm just wondering when and how the Bernoulli distribution $Be(p)$ (and related distributions like the ...
Student's user avatar
  • 39
1 vote
0 answers
22 views

Who first described a statistical estimate as an approximation of a population parameter?

At some point in the history of statistics, there surely was a transition from thinking of statistical measures strictly as imperfect approximations of real quantities, to thinking of them as ...
virtuolie's user avatar
  • 642
5 votes
1 answer
230 views

Who first suggested weak stationarity and strict stationarity?

I wonder who first suggested and defined weak stationarity, and which paper it is. It seems that many paper using it as given, but I'm just curious of how it is defined and proved, and the discussions ...
leeway00's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

When was the Leaky ReLU activation function first used?

An earlier question discovered the first use of the ReLU function. In what paper was the Leaky ReLU activation function first used? By that, I mean the first use of this equation: $$ f(x, \alpha) = \...
Richie Bendall's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is Neyman-Pearson lemma a lemma or is it a theorem?

A classical result in statistical theory is the Neyman-Pearson lemma, which not only shows the existence of tests with the most power that return a pre-specified level of Type I error, but also a way ...
Tom Chen's user avatar
  • 621
9 votes
1 answer
498 views

When was the earliest appearance of Empirical Cumulative Distribution Plots?

I would be surprised if we actually had a date here. I am curious who, if anyone, created the ecdf plot. When did the ecdf make its first appearance? If we do not know when the first ecdf plot was ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 2,021
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did the “Hat Matrix” get its name

How did the hat matrix get its name $\hat{\mathbf{H}} = \mathbf{X} \left( \mathbf{X}^\textsf{T} \mathbf{X} \right)^{-1} \mathbf{X}^\textsf{T}$ I am interested in the etymology of the term. Who gave it ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 2,021
12 votes
1 answer
955 views

If Galton did not use least squares then how was he drawing his regression slopes?

I read the following from a document online here. Galton was full of ideas but was no mathematician. He didn’t even use least squares, preferring to avoid unpleasant computations. If Galton did not ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 2,021
6 votes
2 answers
66 views

Who estimated war casualties from tightly-controlled government news sources?

I've read about this historical case before so I thought it would be very easy to Google, but after a few dozen queries that come up with nothing relevant I'm ready to punt. The story goes like this. ...
Daniel McLaury's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
130 views

how standard is R model formula notation

I like using R model formula notation such as $Y \sim X_1 + X_2$ when thinking of regression relationships at a high level. The same for lmer notation such as $Y \sim X | group$. I am wondering how ...
kara890's user avatar
  • 159
4 votes
1 answer
316 views

History of terms type 1 error and type 2 error?

The terms "type I" (or "alpha) and "type II" (or "beta) error, to denote false positive and false negative, are often used. What is the history of those terms?
deMoivre's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
639 views

Where does the Logistic Distribution get its name?

Having read around on the topic I understand its application as a close approximation of the normal distribution with a nicer mathematical form, but where does its name come from? Is it associated ...
Connor's user avatar
  • 655
3 votes
0 answers
107 views

A misspecification error with linear models that can complete reverse the direction of an effect, has this been described, has this a name?

Linear models are ubiquitous in economic, social, health and nutritional sciences and the starting point for much research and many articles. However, there is a problem with linear models. When the ...
Sextus Empiricus's user avatar
31 votes
4 answers
2k views

What important ideas came since Nelder and McCullagh's book Generalized Linear Models (a 40 year old book)?

I read not too long ago Nelder and McCullagh's book Generalized Linear Models and thought the book was fantastic and I consider it a useful manual on the subject. Not surprising that's the case, ...
cgmil's user avatar
  • 1,373
2 votes
1 answer
270 views

Who originally defined leverage scores to be the diagonal elements of $X(X^TX)^{-1}X^T$?

A nice description of leverage in the sense that I am using it is given here so I will not repeat it. Who originally defined leverage scores to be the diagonal elements of $X(X^TX)^{-1}X^T$?
Galen's user avatar
  • 9,411
5 votes
2 answers
194 views

When using ROC curves for WWII Radars, what was the TN?

One of the origins of ROC curves seems to be to compare radar systems in WWII (source). How did they actually compute the False Positive Rate when they didn't have an estimate for True Negatives? If I ...
brnl's user avatar
  • 53
3 votes
0 answers
40 views

Were Many (Famous) Theoretical Laws in Science Based on "Regression"? [closed]

In a essay about the meaning of life, the famous scientist Schrodinger once said "Physical laws rest on atomic statistics and are therefore only approximate" (http://www.whatislife.ie/...
stats_noob's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
798 views

What exactly is the history of Dynamic Time Warping? Where can I find information?

I am writing a thesis comparing some methods of time series classification, part of which is DTW combined with K-NN algorithm. I'd love to know (and write, backed by reliable references) something ...
Brzoskwinia's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

History of Regularization and Shrinkage [duplicate]

Can anyone recommend any research papers where the undesirable effects of overfitting on statistical models were first observed? In the context of regression, at what point did researchers begin to ...
stats_noob's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the original derivation of the Poisson distribution?

I am learning the Poisson distribution. I understand it, but its probability mass function is not natural to me. I think its probability mass function seems to be derived from somewhere with more ...
i_love_somebody's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
123 views

How to forecast a rental weekly sales demand using a 4 year history data?

I need to estimate the weekly demand required for a specific product in a specific week at a specific location. I have the past 4 years daily data of each product at each location. For example: number ...
shravya's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
87 views

Why is it called the ‘error’ term?

In econometrics, why is the error term called the ‘error’ term? The myriad things it captures that influence the independent variable are not errors. They are valid real life phenomena. Is there any ...
L Robinson's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who first coined the phrase "correlation does not imply causation"?

Reading Galton and Wright has indicated to me that even from the early days of considering correlation, there was some awareness that correlation is not synonymous with causation. However, who was the ...
Galen's user avatar
  • 9,411
7 votes
3 answers
510 views

What is the history of $p < 0.05$ or 95% confidence?

I'm wondering what the history of $p < 0.05$ or using a 95% confidence interval is. I know that more nuanced reasoning would argue that there is nothing special about 0.05 or 95% (I think decision ...
cgmil's user avatar
  • 1,373
9 votes
1 answer
400 views

Intuition about the coupon collector problem approaching a Gumbel distribution

The coupon collector's problem Let there be $n$ different types of coupons and we try to collect all of the types. We do this by independent random draws of coupons in which each type of coupon has an ...
Sextus Empiricus's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
239 views

When was a random variable first called a "random variable"? And why is it called as such?

From measure theoretic foundations, it is clear that a random variable is neither random nor a variable. It is a deterministic function developed as follows: Construct probability space: $(\Omega, \...
tisPrimeTime's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
15 views

Relationship between conjoint measurement and conjoint analysis

The wikipedia page "Cojoint Analysis" says that conjoint analysis originated in mathematical psychology (without a reference) but also that it was developed by marketing professor Paul Green....
Johannes Titz's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
372 views

Why didn't $\Pr \left( A \rightarrow B \right)$ catch on?

Students are conditioned to thinking in terms of IF-THEN statements even before high school, and courses offered at the university level often lead to the formalization of material implication. ...
Galen's user avatar
  • 9,411
38 votes
1 answer
1k views

Reference: who introduced the tilde "~" notation to mean "has probability distribution..."?

[Note: although this question has an accepted answer, the investigation is not finished yet. I encourage you to post your findings.] Who first introduced the notation "$X \sim Q$", meaning ...
pglpm's user avatar
  • 1,306
8 votes
2 answers
491 views

History of the term "early stopping"

Who first used "early stopping" to refer to a form of regularization by stopping training before convergence? I have attempted to search myself but I am not sure how to find the answer. Was ...
Simd's user avatar
  • 2,049
4 votes
0 answers
246 views

Did Auguste Bravais really derive the mathematical definition of Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient?

The wikipedia pages on Auguste Bravais,Karl Pearson, the Pearson correlation coefficient,and Francis Galton all cite the following book: Bravais, A (1846). "Analyse mathématique sur les ...
Galen's user avatar
  • 9,411
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

Interpretation of Huygens Expectation

Christiaan Huygens wrote in "Libelus de Ratiociniis in Ludo Alae" (can be found here - page 2, Postulat) : That any one Chance or Expectation to win any thing is worth just such a Sum, as ...
Janko's user avatar
  • 1
8 votes
1 answer
106 views

Is there a real example in which a correlation finally leads to the discovery of a non-trivial causal relationship?

More specifically, I am wondering if there is such an example satisfying the following criteria: The example happened after 1888, it would be better to be after 1900—I think few people have the ...
Eli4ph's user avatar
  • 181
2 votes
1 answer
139 views

Why was Bayes' Theory not accepted/popular historically until the late 20th century?

I have to write a math history paper. I was going to write it on the rise of Bayes' Theory. I have read around that Bayes' theory was no widely accepted or used until the 20th century. I need to make ...
rztxx's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
40 views

Why a false positive is called type I error and a flase negative a type II error? [duplicate]

I am trying to understand what are the historical reasons behind the choice of the term Type I and Type II error. I think is much more intuitive to use false positive and false negative. These two ...
G M's user avatar
  • 291
2 votes
0 answers
792 views

Explanation on why SD is better than MD [duplicate]

Trying to understand why Standard Deviation (SD) is widely accepted as a measure of dispersion instead of Mean Deviation (MD) $\frac {1}{N}\sum|X-\mu|$. Revisiting a 90-year-old debate: the advantages ...
mon's user avatar
  • 1,548

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