# Questions tagged [history]

Questions about the history of statistics.

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### 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 ...
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 ...
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### 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 ...
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1 vote
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### 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.
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### 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 ...
1 vote
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://...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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1 vote
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### 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 ...
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### 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’...
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### 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 ...
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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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) = \...
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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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. ...
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 ...
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### 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?
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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, ...
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### 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 $X(X^TX)^{-1}X^T$?
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### 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 ...
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### 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/...
1 vote
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
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### 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 ...
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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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