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Statistics on the Table: The History of Statistical Concepts and Methods Paperback – Oct 30 2002

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Statistics on the Table: The History of Statistical Concepts and Methods + The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty before 1900
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From Library Journal

Stigler (Univ. of Chicago) is an expert on the history of statistics. His book is not a complete survey of the subject but a well-selected collection of 22 essaysAsome involving major central mathematical ideas, others of a more popular natureAthat vividly explore a number of interesting topics about a subject with so many diverse applications. Stigler covers mainly European and American contributions to the field of statistics from the 1700s to the 1960s and 1970s. Other works by the same author related to this topic are American Contributions to Mathematical Statistics in the Nineteenth Century and The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900. Recommended for large public libraries, academic libraries, and specialized collections in the history of sciences and the history of statistics.ANestor Osorio, Northern Illinois Univ. Libs., DeKalb
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


In Statistics on the Table, statistician and historian of science Stephen M. Stigler collects and revises 22 of his scholarly and often witty essays from the past 25 years reflecting the combination of detective work and statistical thinking that characterize his research. (Valerie M. Chase American Scientist)

Mainstream statistical topics (e.g. maximum likelihood, degrees of freedom, regression toward the mean) and various statistical writers (particularly Karl Pearson, Jevons, Edgeworth, Galton, Bayes, Gauss and Cauchy) are discussed, as well as some historical curiosities...Any biometrician should find plenty in it to fascinate, enlighten and entertain. (D. A. Preece Biometrics 2000-12-01)

Stigler's useful, readable, and valuable book, with its numerous illuminating illustrations and plentiful insights, is an authoritative and definitive work in the early development of mathematical statistics, and a delightful examination in witty detail of the contributions of Gauss, Laplace, deMoivre, Bayes, Galton, Lexis, James Bernoulli, Quetelet, Edgeworth, and others. With humor and conviction, Stigler describes vividly the events leading to the emergence of statistical concepts and methods. (D. V. Chopra Choice)

A well-selected collection of 22 essays--some involving major central mathematical ideas, others of a more popular nature--that vividly explore a number of interesting topics about a subject with so many diverse applications. (Nestor Osorio Library Journal)

[This book's] title comes from a letter written to the London Times in 1910 by the statistician Karl Pearson, exhorting critics of one of his studies to set aside mere opinions and put their 'statistics on the table.' Stigler uses this and other stories to relate the history of his subject, describing along the way the idiosyncratic individuals who have brought logic and mathematical rigor to a frequently confusing area of analysis. The reader who is not alarmed by the occasional graph or simple equation will find this a penetrating and entertaining account. (Science News)

[This is] a lively and controversial history...well captured in the second major book on the history of statistics by Stephen M. Stigler...In reading this collection, I was struck with the amount of scholarship and thought that went into each of the essays and with the liveliness and wit of the author's writing style. (Paul S. Levy Perspectives in Biology and Medicine)

It is great to have these essays collected in one volume . . . Irony and self-referencing humor abound in this book, making it entertaining; and clear exposition, thorough research, and insightful descriptions of key developments and personalities make it very much worth your time and money. (Russell V. Lenth, American Statistician)

Stephen Stigler's 1986 book The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty before 1900 was greeted with enthusiasm by both staticians and historians for its penetrating overview of developments in probabilistically oriented statistics before 1900. This new volume, too, will be of interest to both statisticians and historians…What is the same in this book-or, indeed, even better-is the sparkling and witty style…This book should without question have a place on the bookshelf of every person interested in the history of statistics. (Ida H. Stamhuis ISIS)

If you have an interest in the history of statistics and also history in relationship to statistics, you will want this book. The standard for scholarship within the statistical community has never been any higher than it is here. (Technometrics)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An excellent sequel Aug. 7 2010
By Claire Jones - Published on
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I purchased Dr. Stigler's earlier book on the history of statistics. I wrote him to inquire about a follow-up. He said that this book was as close as he would get. If you want to understand why certain statistical techniques developed the way they did then Stigler's two books are for you. In this modern world, we have every thing nice and neetly packaged for use. It is humbling to read about these pioneers who struggled to explain things with no adequate math to back them up...until they developed it themselves.
Informative to learn some of the history. Feb. 8 2013
By Chris Macintosh - Published on
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I've enjoyed learning some of the history behind the statistics. There are some amusing stories. If you've ever wondered where some of those tests came from, this a good read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A collection of essays for statisticians but readable by the layman as well Aug. 23 2013
By BillH - Published on
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This collection of essays is primarily aimed at the statistician or mathematician and includes numerous undefined statistical terms and equations. Nevertheless, its readable prose is sufficiently descriptive for even a non-statistician like me to follow and enjoy.
I gave the book four stars only because of my lack of statistical training. I think a reader who has taken even a couple of beginning statistical courses would have no trouble with the concepts described.