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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.
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)
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. 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)
The word "biometry" may be less than 200 years old, but it can be argued that work we would now consider biometric dates back even to the pre-Christian era. The unity of biometry is attested through examples spanning two millennia, and a lesson from Francis Galton is recalled from a century ago.