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John Ashworth Nelder FRS
(born 8 October 1924) is a British statistician.
Born in Dulverton, Somerset, he was educated at
School and Sidney Sussex College,
Cambridge, where he read mathematics.
Nelder's appointments include Head, Statistics Section, National
Vegetable Research Station, Wellesbourne 1951-1968; Head, first
Statistics Department then Biomathematics Division, Rothamsted Experimental
Station 1968-1984; Visiting Professor, Imperial College London 1972-
Nelder's work is enormously influential, as he is co-inventor of
the generalized linear model. He
is also a proponent of the likelihood school of inference, an alternative
to both the frequentist and Bayesian
schools. He is also known for his contribution to statistical computing through designing and
directing the development of the statistical
software packages Genstat and GLIM. He was elected a Fellow of
the Royal Society in 1976 and
received the Royal Statistical Society's
Guy Medal in gold in
He was responsible, with Max Nicholson and James
Ferguson-Lees, for debunking the Hastings Rarities - a series of rare
birds, preserved by a taxidermist and provided with bogus
- Methods and Models in Statistics: In Honour of Professor
John Nelder, FRS edited by Niall Adams, Martin Crowder, David
J Hand & Dave Stephens Imperial College Press (2004). Imperial College Press
P. and J.A. Nelder. 1989. Generalized Linear Models.
2nd ed. Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, Florida. ISBN
- Lee, Y., J.A. Nelder, and Y. Patwan. 2006. Generalized
Linear Models with Random Effects: Unified Analysis via
H-likelihood. Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, Florida.
- ^ Nelder, J.A. (1962). A
statistical examination of the Hastings Rarities. British Birds, August