Statistikens historia och framväxt
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Positivismens tankegångar utvecklades vidare av den franske läkaren Pierre Louis (1787-1872) som på 1830-talet införde den numerära metoden (=medicinsk statistik).

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Jacques Bernoulli (1654-1705) wrote The Art of Conjecture in which he argued that because probabilities could be calculated for ratios of chance events, such as the fall of sets of dice, or turn of a card, it can also be proved that the greater the number of experiments, (of rolls of the dice, or turns of the card), the more closely the estimated ratios would come to the true ratio of their probabilities. This was the first statement of what we call the 'central limit theorem'.

Gerolamo Cardana (1501-1576) Wrote the first book on probability, 'Liber de Ludo Aleae' (The Book on Games of Chance) in which he concluded that each face of a die has an equal chance of being thrown, 'if the die is honest'. This statement is of vital importance to the theory of probability.

Ronald Fisher (1890-1962) In 1922 he gave a new definition of statistics. Its purpose was the reduction of data and he identified three fundamental problems. These are firstly, specification of the kind of population that the data came from, secondly estimation and, thirdly, distribution. The contributions Fisher made included the development of methods suitable for small samples, like those of Gosset, the discovery of the precise distributions of many sample statistics and the invention of analysis of variance. He introduced the term maximum likelihood and studied hypothesis testing. Fisher is considered one of the founders of modern statistics because of his many important contributions.

Francis Galton (1822-1911) An explorer and anthropologist, Francis Galton is known for his pioneering studies of human intelligence. He devoted the latter part of his life to eugenics, i.e. improving the physical and mental makeup of the human species by selected parenthood. Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, was convinced that ability in various fields was due almost entirely to hereditary factors. He opposed those who claimed that intelligence or character were determined by environmental factors. He inquired into racial differences, something almost unacceptable today, and was one of the first to employ questionnaire and survey methods, which he used to investigate mental imagery in different groups of people. Unhappily, for his reputation today, his work led him to advocate breeding restrictions.

William Gosset (1876-1937) Gosset worked initially as a chemist in the Guinness brewery in Dublin in 1899 and did important work on statistics. He invented the t-test to handle small samples for quality control in brewing. He wrote under the name "Student". Check your statistics or quantitative methods textbook and you'll probably find his 'Student's t-table' within the appendices.

John Graunt (1620-1674) Can be regarded as the author of the first book on statistics, 'Natural and Political Observations Upon the Bills of Mortality' in 1662. The Bills of Mortality mentioned in the title refer to the collections of mortality figures in London. London had suffered from plague outbreaks at intervals and the King wanted to use an early-warning system of the threat of fresh outbreaks. Weekly records were kept of mortality and the causes of death in the capital. On the basis of these Bills, Graunt made an estimate of the population of London. This is thought of as the first example of the interpretation of passive data and the beginnings of what is now called 'statistics'. Most importantly, Graunt checked his calculations of total population by going to the evidence. He took three parishes as representative samples. This again, was a revolutionary step.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) Put forward the process of reasoning where the scientist puts forward an hypothesis about a relationship, then subjects the conclusions that are deduced from that hypothesis to the test of experience. In his view if conclusions are found to accord with experience, an hypothesis is verified. Modern views have put this verification slighlty differently: if the hypothesis is not contradicted, it remains a conjectured explanation of a relationship; if the hypothesis is contradicted, in even a single instance, it is rejected. Mill can also be regarded as one of the first to start to look for a system of thought that would provide acceptable levels of confidence short of certainty.

Abraham de Moivre (1667-1754) French mathematician who worked in London and was a friend of Isaac Newton. De Moivre was the first to state the properties of the normal curve. We can state the exact proportion of a population that will lie between any two values of items in a population, because of de Moivre's work. He also studied mortality statistics and the foundation of the theory of annuities. Despite de Moivre's scientific prowess, his main income was by tutoring mathematics and he died in poverty. He is famed for predicting the day of his own death. He found that he was sleeping 15 minutes longer each night and calculated by arithmetic progression that he would die on the day that he slept for 24 hours. He was right.

Karl Pearson (1857-1936) applied statistics to biological problems of heredity and evolution. From 1893 to 1912 he wrote 18 papers entitled Mathematical Contribution to the Theory of Evolution which contain his most valuable work. These papers contain contributions to regression analysis and the correlation coefficient. Pearson coined the term 'standard deviation' in 1893. Pearson had a long dispute with Fisher. Pearson used large samples which he measured and from which he tried to deduce correlations. Fisher, on the other hand, followed Gosset in trying to use small samples and, rather than deduce correlations, to find causes. The dispute was bad enough to have Fisher turn down the post of Chief Statistician at the Galton Laboratory in 1919 since it would have meant working under Pearson.

Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874) Belgian mathematician who when studying the distribution of people's characteristics observed and studied the properties of the normal distribution curve - one of the central concepts in statistics. Quetelet divided the different heights of people he studied along an horizontal axis, and noted the total numbers of people of specific heights in columns parallel to the vertical axis. He saw that the highest columns in his diagrams were clustered together around a mid-point. The height of the columns fell away symmetrically on either side of the highest column until, at the extreme values of the range, the columns were very small. He used these observations to suggest that the chances of big deviations in any characteristic were limited. Crucially, too, he saw that the distribution of a characteristic in a population follows the shape of a bell when put into a diagram. The properties of the bell-shaped distribution are Quetelet's greatest contribution to modern statistics.

Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835) Much debate centred on the origin of the modern use of the term 'statistics'. There are early examples of the term being used by German political scientists, (Hermann Conring, a professor, lectured on the political constitutions of states around 1660), but for them, statistics meant studying about states. The first example of the use of the term as we understand it today, is acknowledged to be by a Scot, Sinclair, who took the name 'statistics' from the Germans and applied it to his study of numerical data about Scotland: Statistical Account of Scotland (1791 - 99). There is more detail available on the work of Sinclair and the two follow-up Statistical Accounts of Scotland.

(Lägg till info om Bayes)

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