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Hunter and Salsburg on how statistics has evolved

With the International Year of Statistics quickly approaching, what better way to prepare ourselves than by gaining a little perspective from those who have helped to shape the world of statistics in the last century?

This past summer, JMP's Senior Director of Analytic Strategy Anne Milley and I took a trip up to Yale University to conduct interviews with a couple of distinguished statistics celebrities: Stu Hunter and David Salsburg.

During our time together, here are a few interesting facts we learned about Stu Hunter and David Salsburg:

  • Stu Hunter helped John Tukey with his garden in order to spend more time with him to learn from him.
  • David Salsburg was inspired to write his book The Lady Tasting Tea as a memorial to a friend so that his children would understand the impact he had made on the field of statistics.
  • Stu Hunter was the founding editor of Technometrics journal, which debuted in February 1959.
  • David Salsburg was the very first statistician hired by Pfizer Inc.
  • During the interviews, Stu and David also shared some fascinating stories about their encounters with other statistics greats — Gertrude Cox, R.A. Fisher, H. Fairfield Smith and George Box. To hear these stories and more, tune in Wednesday when their webcast interview will premiere as part of the Analytically Speaking series.

    Other tidbits include:

    • The evolution of the statistics field over the past 50 years — particularly automated design, automated variable selection, automated model building, “big data” and the surge in the use of Bayesian analysis.
    • The role of women in statistics and how they have shaped the field.
    • How to convey statistical findings to non-technical employees.
    • The impact of fractional factorials.
    • I hope you enjoy the webcast as much as we enjoyed producing it.

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