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Student : A Statistical Biography of William Sealy Gosset - E. S. Pearson


A Statistical Biography of William Sealy Gosset


Published: 5th July 1990
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William Sealy Gosset is known to all statisticians and users of statistics by `Student', his pseudonym best remembered in the Student t -test. This volume, based on his statistical correspondence, is a biographical account of his life and work, which through his collaboration with R.A. Fisher, Karl and Egon Pearson, came to fundamentally influence the development of modern statistical thinking. It provides a unique insight into the ferment of statistical ideas discussed by Gosset and his co-workers. In particular, it sheds new light on the way in which Gosset's work (at the St James Gate Brewery owned by Guinness), and his interest in the statistics of small samples, came to profoundly affect Fisher's early work. A refreshing aspect of Gosset's letters is that they reveal his likeable and modest character: he describes his own contribution to 1914-18 war as `to brew Guinness stout in such a way as to waste as little labour and material as possible'. Similarly, his dislike of controversy is illustrated in his letters written at the time of publication of Fisher's Statistical Methods for Research Workers, but which still serve to show Gosset's own strong views on the book. The volume is based on the writings of Egon Pearson, who intended to write a complete biography based on Gosset's correspondence. Professors Barnard and Plackett have gone to great pains to respect the intentions of Egon Pearson in presenting the material, and the text is organized and annotated to present Gosset's correspondence with Fisher and the Pearsons in its historical and statistical context. As a result, this book will appeal to all those statisticians interested in the development of their subject in the first four decades of this century.

'This is a very readable and absorbing book. It documents the fundamental influence which Gosset had on the development of modern statistics through his collaboration wiht Fisher and the Pearsons. But above all, it portrays a practical scientist and manager with an endearing personality who was modest, kindly, and tolerant; a man with wide interests and real integrity. Professors Plackett and Barnard are to be greatly thanked for bringing Pearson's planned biography to fruition. This book is for anyone with any interest in the history and development of our subject and in the personalities of the major players in that remarkable era.' C.D. Kemp, University of St. Andrews, Biometrics, March 1992

Introduction; Background; William Sealy Gosset; Karl Pearson; Ronald A. Fisher; Egon S. Pearson; General commentary; Notes on the text; Bibliography; Indices.

ISBN: 9780198522270
ISBN-10: 0198522274
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 150
Published: 5th July 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.2  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.42