Statistics and Statisticians for Social Sciences

Personalities: portraits and biographies Introduction to Statistics: key concepts Hypothesis testing and statistical errors Statistical estimations: important measures Statistics made easy:
video illustrations
Links and acknowledgements

This page is a short tour on biographies and important "inventions" of statisticians playing an important role in development of statistics and its applications to social sciences.
It was created as a page-building excercise (not as a comprehensive resource on statistics), that is why materials for this page were mostly selected basing on my personal sympathies and preferences. However, some of the content can be useful for studying and teaching introductory courses in social science statistics.

The section "Personalities and biographies" presents 14 people I considered important in making the history of statistics and its applications in social sciences espoecially. personalities (of course, there are many more),
  • Thomas Bayes
    Developed the interpretation of probability now known as Bayes theorem, one of the basic theorems in probability theory
    (which is also successfully used for spam filtration purposes).


  • Carl Friedrich Gauss
    Invented least squares estimation methods, which are still widely used in social sciences statistical applications,
    particularly in regression analysis and modeling.


  • Adolphe Quetelet
    Astronomist, mathematician, statistician and sociologist, who pioneered the use of probability and statistics in the social sciences.


  • Francis Galton
    Invented and first introduced the concepts of standard deviation, correlation and regression (key things for social science statistics).


  • Karl Pearson
    Famous for manyinnovations and inventions, including the development of the Pearson chi-squared test and the Pearson correlation.


  • Charles Spearman
    Extended the Pearson correlation coefficient to the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient - relatively little but important contribution :).


  • William Sealy Gosset (known as "Student")
    Discovered the Student t distribution and invented the Student's t-test.


  • Gertrude Mary Cox
    Has done a lot on Experimental design, and was a first woman elected into the International Statistical Institute (1949).


  • Ronald A. Fisher
    Invented the analysis of variance, introduced the method of maximum likelihood, the concept of sufficient statistics, Fisher information, and many theoretical concepts now a standard part of the basic curriculum.


  • Carlo Emilio Bonferroni
    Invented the Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons coefficient - relatively little but important contribution :).


  • Jerzy Neyman
    Discovered the confidence interval and co-developed the Neyman-Pearson lemma.


  • Egon Pearson
    Co-developed the Neyman-Pearson lemma of statistical hypothesis testing (people ofter think that it was the other Pearson).


  • Maurice Kendall
    Co-developed methods for assessing statistical randomness; invented Kendall tau rank correlation coefficient.


  • John Wilder Tukey
    Pioneered in exploratory data analysis and graphical presentation of data, developed the jackknife for variance estimation, invented the box plot(!).

If you are interested to know more about statisticians and important statistical inventions, please check Materials on the History of Statistics at The University of York, Department of Mathematics web-site, or statistical corn bins of Wikipedia.

Materials for this page were mostly collected from publicly available Internet sources (please check "Links" section for detailed reference).