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Library | Call Number | Material Type | Home Location | Status | Item Holds |
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Searching... | QA276.15 .S755 1999 | Adult Non-Fiction | Central Closed Stacks | Searching... | Searching... |

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### Summary

### Summary

This collection of essays examines in detail the history of some of the concepts involved in bringing statistical argument to the table, and some of the pitfalls that have been encountered. Topics range from 17th century medicine and blood circulation to the meter of Virgil's poetry.

### Author Notes

Stephen M. Stigler is Ernest DeWit Burton Distinguished Service Professor of Statistics at the University of Chicago.

### Reviews 2

### Library Journal Review

Stigler (Univ. of Chicago) is an expert on the history of statistics. His book is not a complete survey of the subject but a well-selected collection of 22 essaysÄsome involving major central mathematical ideas, others of a more popular natureÄthat vividly explore a number of interesting topics about a subject with so many diverse applications. Stigler covers mainly European and American contributions to the field of statistics from the 1700s to the 1960s and 1970s. Other works by the same author related to this topic are American Contributions to Mathematical Statistics in the Nineteenth Century and The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900. Recommended for large public libraries, academic libraries, and specialized collections in the history of sciences and the history of statistics.ÄNestor Osorio, Northern Illinois Univ. Libs., DeKalb (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

### Choice Review

Stigler's useful, readable, and valuable book, with its numerous illuminating illustrations and plentiful insights, is an authoritative and definitive work on the early development of mathematical statistics, and a delightful examination in witty detail of the contributions of Gauss, Laplace, deMoivre, Bayes, Galton, Lexis, James Bernoulli, Quetelet, Edgeworth, and others. With humor and conviction, Stigler (Univ. of Chicago) describes vividly the events leading to the emergence of statistical concepts and methods. The development of statistics is intimately connected with that of the normal curve, the principle of least squares, maximum likelihood principle, regression, and the level of uncertainty associated with data interpretation. Chapters discuss conceptual advances in the 19th century due to Pearson, Quetelet, Jevon, Edgeworth, and Francis Galton; describe the evolution of probability theory in the 17th century; and treat discovery as a topic in the sociology of science and the assignment of priorities for discoveries by scientists. In the last part Stigler considers the role of statistics in standards, and of standards in statistics. Illustrations keyed to the text; useful subject-author index; extensive reference list in 43 pages; appendix with credits. A valuable addition to graduate and upper-division undergraduate libraries. D. V. Chopra; Wichita State University

### Table of Contents

Acknowledgments | p. ix |

Introduction | p. 1 |

I. Statistics and Social Science | |

1 Karl Pearson and the Cambridge Economists | p. 13 |

2 The Average Man Is 168 Years Old | p. 51 |

3 Jevons as Statistician | p. 66 |

4 Jevons on the King-Davenant Law of Demand | p. 80 |

5 Francis Ysidro Edgeworth, Statistician | p. 87 |

II. Galtonian Ideas | |

6 Galton and Identification by Fingerprints | p. 131 |

7 Stochastic Simulation in the Nineteenth Century | p. 141 |

8 The History of Statistics in 1933 | p. 157 |

9 Regression toward the Mean | p. 173 |

10 Statistical Concepts in Psychology | p. 189 |

III. Some Seventeenth-Century Explorers | |

11 Apollo Mathematicus | p. 203 |

12 The Dark Ages of Probability | p. 239 |

13 John Craig and the Probability of History | p. 252 |

IV. Questions of Discovery | |

14 Stigler's Law of Eponymy | p. 277 |

15 Who Discovered Bayes's Theorem? | p. 291 |

16 Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, and Maximum Likelihood | p. 302 |

17 Gauss and the Invention of Least Squares | p. 320 |

18 Cauchy and the Witch of Agnesi | p. 332 |

19 Karl Pearson and Degrees of Freedom | p. 338 |

V. Questions of Standards | |

20 Statistics and Standards | p. 361 |

21 The Trial of the Pyx | p. 383 |

22 Normative Terminology | p. 403 |

References | p. 433 |

Credits | p. 477 |

Index | p. 479 |