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Bookmarks: Series 3 details

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Gertrude Mary Cox

Gertrude Mary Cox (1900–1978) was born on a farm near Dayton, Iowa. Initially intending to become superintendent of an orphanage, she enrolled at Iowa State College, where she majored in mathematics and attained the college’s first Master’s degree in statistics. She started a PhD in psychological statistics at Berkeley but returned to Iowa State after only two years to work with George W. Snedecor. Cox was put in charge of establishing a Computing Laboratory and began to teach design of experiments, the latter leading to her classic text with William G. Cochran. In 1940, Snedecor showed Cox his all-male list of suggestions to head a new statistics department at North Carolina State College and, at her urging, added her name. She was selected and built an outstanding department. Cox retired early to work at the new Research Triangle Institute between Raleigh and Chapel Hill. She consulted widely, served as editor of Biometrics, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences .

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Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier

Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768–1830) was born in Auxerre in France. He got caught up in the Revolution and its aftermath, and was twice arrested and imprisoned between periods of studying and teaching mathematics. Fourier joined Napoleon’ s army in its invasion of Egypt in 1798 as a scientific adviser, returning to France in 1801, when he was appointed Prefect of the Department of Isère. While Prefect, Fourier did his important mathematical work on the theory of heat, based on what are now called Fourier series. This work was published in 1822, despite the skepticism of Lagrange, Laplace, Legendre, and others—who found the work lacking in generality and even rigor—and disagreements of both priority and substance with Biot and Poisson.

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Herman Otto Hartley

Herman Otto Hartley (1912–1980) was born in Germany as Herman Otto Hirschfeld and immigrated to England in 1934 after completing his PhD in mathematics at Berlin University. He completed a second PhD in mathematical statistics under John Wishart a t Cambridge in 1940 and went on to hold positions at Harper Adams Agricultural College, Scientific Computing Services (London), University College (London), Iowa State College, Texas A&M University, and Duke University. Among other awards he received and distinguished titles he held, Professor Hartley served as the president of the American Statistical Association in 1979. Known affectionately as HOH by almost all who knew him, he founded the Institute of Statistics, later to become the Department of Statistics, at Texas A&M University. His contributions to statistical computing are particularly notable considering the available equipment at the time. Professor Hartley is best known for his two-volume Biometrika Tables for Statisticians (jointly written with Egon Pearson) and for his fundamental contributions to sampling theory, missing-data methodology, variance–component estimation, and computational statistics.

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Henry Felix Kaiser

Henry Felix Kaiser (1927–1992) was born in Morristown, New Jersey, and educated in California, where he earned degrees at Berkeley in between periods of naval service during and after World War II. A specialist in psychological and educational statistics and measurement, Kaiser worked at the Universities of Illinois and Wisconsin before returning to Berkeley in 1968. He made several contributions to factor analysis, including varimax rotation (the subject of his PhD) and a measure for assessing sampling adequacy. Kaiser is remembered as an eccentric who spray-painted his shoes in unusual colors and listed ES (Eagle Scout) as his highest degree.

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John Wilder Tukey

John Wilder Tukey (1915–2000) was born in Massachusetts. He studied chemistry at Brown and mathematics at Princeton and afterward worked at both Princeton and Bell Labs, as well as being involved in a great many government projects, consultancies , and committees. He made outstanding contributions to several areas of statistics, including time series, multiple comparisons, robust statistics, and exploratory data analysis. Tukey was extraordinarily energetic and inventive, not least in his use of terminology: he is credited with inventing the terms bit and software, in addition to ANOVA, boxplot, data analysis, hat matrix, jackknife, stem-and-leaf plot, trimming, and winsorizing, among many others. Tukey’s direct and indirect impacts mark him as one of the greatest statisticians of all time.

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