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Journals and Conferences
The simple yet subtle concept of regression towards the mean is reviewed historically. Verbal, geometric, and mathematical expressions of the concept date to the discoverer of the concept, Francis Galton. That discovery and subsequent understanding (and misunderstanding) of the concept are surveyed.
The utilization of space and the running speed of the buddy system are considered Equations are derived that give various statistical properties of the buddy system. For the bottom level with Poisson requests and exponential service times the expected amount of space wasted by pairing full cells with empty cells is about 0.513… (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. On November 22, 1693, 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)
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)
Some purely methodological comments are made on the pitfalls and difficulties in making causal inferences from observational data, including in studies of disparity in medicine. The ideas of spurious correlation and measurement error are discussed with an eye towards their impact upon inferences about causality, and cautions are offered about over-reliance… (More)
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— The apparent lack of a history of contingency tables before 1900 is explored, and three explanatory hypotheses are considered for the absence of early development on this topic: computational difficulty, lack of data, and conceptual hurdles. Finally, the importance to this history of the model of quasi-symmetry is briefly noted.
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)