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20th-century Statistician Quotes
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I have learned repeatedly, however, that the typical behavioral scientist approaches applied statistics with considerable uncertainty (if not actual nervousness), and requires a verbal-intuitive exposition, rich in redundancy and with many concrete illustrations.
Jacob Cohen (statistician)
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It was Karl Pearson, a man with an unquenchable ambition for scholarly recognition and the kind of drive and determination that had taken Hannibal over the Alps and Marco Polo to China, who recognized the power in Edgeworth's formulations of Galton's ideas. Pearson lacked Galton's originality and Edgeworth's depth of understanding, but it was his zeal, with a vital assist from G. Udny Yule, that created the methodology and sold it to the world.
Stephen Stigler
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Statistics may be defined as the discipline concerned with the treatment of numerical data derived from groups of individuals.
Peter Armitage
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A problem of statistical inference or, more simply, a statistics problem is a problem in which data that have been generated in accordance with some unknown probability distribution must be analyzed and some type of inference about the unknown distribution must be made.
Morris H. DeGroot
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I could prove God statistically. Take the human body alone — the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity.
George Gallup
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Of course statistical graphics, just like statistical calculations, are only as good as what goes into them. An ill-specified or preposterous model or a puny data set cannot be rescued by a graphic (or by calculation), no matter how clever or fancy. A silly theory means a silly graphic.
Edward Tufte
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Our knowledge, our attitudes, and our actions are based to a very large extent on samples.
William Gemmell Cochran
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An observation with an abnormally large residual will be referred to as an outlier. Other terms in English are "wild", "straggler", "sport" and "maverick"; one may also speak of a "discordant", "anomalous" or "aberrant" observation.
Frank Anscombe
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The purely random sample is the only kind that can be examined with entire confidence by means of statistical theory, but there is one thing wrong with it. It is so difficult and expensive to obtain for many uses that sheer cost eliminates it.
Harold Hotelling
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I am not altogether facetious in suggesting that, while non-Bayesians should make it clear in their writings whether they are non-Bayesian Orthodox or non-Bayesian Fisherian, Bayesians should also take care to distinguish their various denominations of Bayesian Epistemologists, Bayesian Orthodox, and Bayesian Savage.
M. S. Bartlett
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If mathematics is a game, there is no reason why people should play it if they do not want to. With football, it belongs to those amusements without which life would be endurable.
Lancelot Hogben
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Too often, in many fields of science, the statistician is regarded as someone who comes on stage after data have been collected, performs standard calculations, delivers a verdict "Significant" or "Not Significant", and then departs.
D. J. Finney
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An Israeli statistician named Hare, Had five factors he wished to compare, Levels of each were nine, So of course his design Was a Hebro-Greco-Latin square.
Joseph L. Fleiss
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A mature science, with respect to the matter of errors in variables, is not one that measures its variables without error, for this is impossible. It is, rather, a science which properly manages its errors, controlling their magnitudes and correctly calculating their implications for substantive conclusions.
Otis Dudley Duncan
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A useful property of a test of significance is that it exerts a sobering influence on the type of experimenter who jumps to conclusions on scanty data, and who might otherwise try to make everyone excited about some sensational treatment effect that can well be ascribed to the ordinary variation in his experiment.
Gertrude Mary Cox
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The primary function of a statistical consultant in a research organization is to furnish advice and guidance in the collection and use of numerical data to provide quantitative foundations for decisions.
Churchill Eisenhart
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Hitherto the user has been accustomed to accept the function of probability theory laid down by the mathematicians; but it would be good if he could take a larger share in formulating himself what are the practical requirements that the theory should satisfy in applications.
Egon Pearson
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There are mathematicians who do mathematics simply because they like it - it's a work of art. Some people work very hard on problems that have no relation to anything else.
Lucien Le Cam
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Whenever we attempt to test a hypothesis we naturally try to avoid errors in judging it. This seems to indicate the right way of proceeding: when choosing a test we should try to minimize the frequency of errors that may be committed in applying it.
Jerzy Neyman
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As tasks become more varied and require greater training and skill, the relationship (between job attitudes and performance) appears to change progressively from the negative to positive.
Rensis Likert
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By encouraging men to spy and report on one another, by making it in the private interest of large numbers of citizens to evade the controls, and by making actions illegal that are in the public interest, the controls undermine individual morality.
Milton Friedman
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A time series is a sequence of observations, usually ordered in time, although in some cases the ordering may be according to another dimension. The feature of time series analysis which distinguishes it from other statistical analysis is the explicit recognition of the importance of the order in which the observations are made. While in many problems the observations are statistically independent, in time series successive observations may be dependent, and the dependence may depend on the positions in the sequence. The nature of a series and the structure of its generating process also may involve in other ways the sequence in which the observations are taken.
Theodore Wilbur Anderson
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Only the strongest players can swim in the shark-infested waters of the Masters' Seas.
Victor Niederhoffer
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Hindsight supplements foresight: A view backward often adds materially to a view forward.
Walter A. Shewhart
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Are we probabilists, believers, or fuzzifiers?
Dennis Lindley
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None of us feels the true love of God till we realize how wicked we are. But you can't teach people that - they have to learn by experience.
Dorothy L. Sayers
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