At a superficial level, the idea of maximum likelihood must be prehistoric: early hunters and gatherers may not have used the words " method of maximum likelihood " to describe their choice of where and how to hunt and gather, but it is hard to believe they would have been surprised if their method had been described in those terms. It seems a simple, even… (More)
A nonparametric test that has been used to conclude that extinction rates are periodic with a period of 26 million years is shown to be substantially biased toward this conclusion, regardless of whether or not the data are periodic in origin (and, indeed, regardless of the actual period if they are in fact periodic). The test is shown to be sensitive to… (More)
In 1693, Isaac Newton answered a query from Samuel Pepys about a problem involving dice. Newton's analysis is discussed and attention is drawn to an error he made. Samuel Pepys wrote a letter to Isaac Newton posing a problem in probability. Newton responded with three letters, first answering the question briefly, and then offering more information as Pepys… (More)
That there has been a change in the area statisticians refer to as Robustness cannot be doubted. I could as one extreme example point to a recent book by my University of Chicago colleague, econometrician Lars Peter Hansen and his co‐author Thomas Sargent. Its title is Robustness and it has a striking cover.
Karl Pearson played an enormous role in determining the content and organization of statistical research in his day, through his research, his teaching, his establishment of laboratories, and his initiation of a vast publishing program. His technical contributions had initially and continue today to have a profound impact upon the work of both applied and… (More)
R ´ ESUM´ E. — L'apparente absence d'une histoire des tableaux de con-tingence avant 1900 est explorée, et trois hypothèses sont avancées pour expliquer cette absence de développements anciens sur le sujet : diffi-cultés de calcul, manque de données, et obstacles conceptuels. Finale-ment, l'importance du modèle de quasi-symétrie dans cet historique est brì… (More)
This is a written version of a memorial lecture given in honor of Churchill Eisenhart at the National Institute of Standards and Technology on May 5, 1995. The relationship and the interplay between statistics and standards over the past centuries are described. Historical examples are presented to illustrate mutual dependency and development in the two… (More)
SUMMARY – In hommage to Bernard Bru, the story is told of the crucial influence Karl Pearson had on Ronald Fisher through a timely and perceptive editorial reply to a hasty and insufficiently considered short submission by Fisher. It is a great personal pleasure to join in this celebration of the friendship and scholarship of Bernard Bru. Over a period of… (More)