John Tukey: Wikis

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John Tukey

John Wilder Tukey
Born June 16, 1915(1915-06-16)
New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
Died July 26, 2000 (aged 85)
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Mathematician
Institutions Bell Labs
Princeton University
Alma mater Brown University
Princeton University
Doctoral advisor Solomon Lefschetz
Doctoral students Frederick Mosteller
Kai Lai Chung
Known for FFT algorithm
Box plot
Coining the term 'bit'
Notable awards Samuel S. Wilks Award (1965)
National Medal of Science (1973)
Shewhart Medal (1976)
IEEE Medal of Honor (1982)
Deming Medal (1982)
James Madison Medal (1984)
Foreign Member of the Royal Society (1991)

John Wilder Tukey (June 16, 1915 – July 26, 2000) was an American statistician.

Contents

Biography

Tukey was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1915, and obtained a B.A. in 1936 and M.Sc. in 1937, in chemistry, from Brown University, before moving to Princeton University where he received a Ph.D. in mathematics.

During World War II, Tukey worked at the Fire Control Research Office and collaborated with Samuel Wilks and William Cochran. After the war, he returned to Princeton, dividing his time between the university and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Among many contributions to civil society, Tukey served on a committee of the American Statistical Association that produced a report challenging the conclusions of the Kinsey Report, Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.

He was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1982 "For his contributions to the spectral analysis of random processes and the fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm."

Tukey retired in 1985. He died in New Brunswick, New Jersey on July 26, 2000.

Scientific contributions

His statistical interests were many and varied. He is particularly remembered for his development with James Cooley of the Cooley–Tukey FFT algorithm. In 1970, he contributed significantly to what is today known as the jackknife estimation—also termed Quenouille-Tukey jackknife. He introduced the box plot in his 1977 book, Exploratory Data Analysis.

Tukey's range test, the Tukey lambda distribution, Tukey's test of additivity and Tukey's lemma all bear his name. He is also the creator of several little-known methods such as the trimean and median-median line, an easier alternative to linear regression.

In 1974, he developed, with Jerome H. Friedman, the concept of the projection pursuit.[1]

Statistical terms

Tukey coined many statistical terms that have become part of common usage, but the two most famous coinages attributed to him were related to computer science.

While working with John von Neumann on early computer designs, Tukey introduced the word "bit" as a contraction of "binary digit".[2] The term "bit" was first used in an article by Claude Shannon in 1948.

The term "software", which Paul Niquette claims he coined in 1953, was first used in print by Tukey in a 1958 article in American Mathematical Monthly, and thus some attribute the term to him;[3] incorrectly, according to Niquette's claim.

Tukey's statistical techniques played an influential role in the development of Dorian Shainin’s simple confirmation "Six Pack Test". Six Pack Tests were known for being much simpler than t-tests, being non-parametric and having a basic rule set.[4]

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Statistical practice

He also contributed to statistical practice and articulated the important distinction between exploratory data analysis and confirmatory data analysis, believing that much statistical methodology placed too great an emphasis on the latter.

Though he believed in the utility of separating the two types of analysis, he pointed out that sometimes, especially in natural science, this was problematic and termed such situations uncomfortable science.

Quotes

  • A D Gordon offered the following summary of Tukey's principles for statistical practice:
... the usefulness and limitation of mathematical statistics; the importance of having methods of statistical analysis that are robust to violations of the assumptions underlying their use; the need to amass experience of the behaviour of specific methods of analysis in order to provide guidance on their use; the importance of allowing the possibility of data's influencing the choice of method by which they are analysed; the need for statisticians to reject the role of 'guardian of proven truth', and to resist attempts to provide once-for-all solutions and tidy over-unifications of the subject; the iterative nature of data analysis; implications of the increasing power, availability and cheapness of computing facilities; the training of statisticians.
  • ...Far better an approximate answer to the right question, than the exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise....

Publications

  • Andrews, David F; Peter J Bickel; Frank R Hampel; Peter J Huber; W H Rogers & John W Tukey (1972). Robust estimates of location: survey and advances. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08113-1. OCLC 369963. 
  • Basford, Kaye E & John W Tukey (1998). Graphical analysis of multiresponse data. Chapman & Hall/CRC. ISBN 0-8493-0384-2. OCLC 154674707. 
  • Blackman, R B & John W Tukey (1959). The measurement of power spectra from the point of view of communications engineering. Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-60507-8. 
  • Cochran, William G; Frederick Mosteller & John W Tukey (1954). Statistical problems of the Kinsey report on sexual behavior in the human male. Journal of the American Statistical Association. 
  • Hoaglin, David C; Frederick Mosteller & John W Tukey (eds) (1983). Understanding Robust and Exploratory Data Analysis. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-09777-2. OCLC 8495063. 
  • Hoaglin, David C; Frederick Mosteller & John W Tukey (eds) (1985). Exploring Data Tables, Trends and Shapes. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-09776-4. OCLC 11550398. 
  • Hoaglin, David C; Frederick Mosteller & John W Tukey (eds) (1991). Fundamentals of exploratory analysis of variance. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-52735-1. OCLC 23180322. 
  • Morganthaler, Stephan & John W Tukey (eds) (1991). Configural polysampling: a route to practical robustness. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-52372-0. OCLC 22381036. 
  • Mosteller, Frederick & John W Tukey (1977). Data analysis and regression : a second course in statistics. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-04854-X. OCLC 3235470. 
  • Tukey, John W (1940). Convergence and Uniformity in Topology. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09568-X. OCLC 227948615. 
  • Tukey, John W (1977). Exploratory Data Analysis. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-07616-0. OCLC 3058187. 
  • Tukey, John W; Ian C Ross; Verna Bertrand; et al. (1973–). Index to statistics and probability. R & D Press. ISBN 0-88274-001-6. OCLC 745715. 
The collected works of John W Tukey, edited by William S Cleveland
  • Brillinger, David R (ed) (1984). Volume I: Time series, 1949–1964. Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-03303-2. OCLC 10998116. 
  • Brillinger, David R (ed) (1985). Volume II: Time series, 1965–1984. Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-03304-0. OCLC 159731367. 
  • Jones, Lyle V (ed) (1985). Volume III: Philosophy and principles of data analysis, 1949–1964. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0-534-03305-9. OCLC 159731367. 
  • Jones, Lyle V (ed) (1986). Volume IV: Philosophy and principles of data analysis, 1965–1986. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0-534-05101-4. OCLC 165832503. 
  • Cleveland, William S (ed) (1988). Volume V: Graphics, 1965–1985. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0-534-05102-2. OCLC 230023465. 
  • Mallows, Colin L (ed) (1990). Volume VI: More mathematical, 1938–1984. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0-534-05103-0. OCLC 232966724. 
  • Cox, David R (ed) (1992). Volume VII: Factorial and ANOVA, 1949–1962. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0-534-05104-9. OCLC 165366083. 
  • Braun, Henry I (ed) (1994). Volume VIII: Multiple comparisons, 1949–1983. Chapman & Hall/CRC. ISBN 0-412-05121-4. OCLC 165099761. 
About John Tukey

See also

Notes

  1. ^ J. H. Friedman and J. W. Tukey (September 1974). "A Projection Pursuit Algorithm for Exploratory Data Analysis". IEEE Transactions on Computers C-23 (9): 881–890. doi:10.1109/T-C.1974.224051. ISSN 0018-9340. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/12/35088/01672644.pdf?isnumber=35088&prod=JNL&arnumber=1672644&arSt=+881&ared=+890&arAuthor=Friedman%2C+J.H.%3B+Tukey%2C+J.W.. 
  2. ^ The origin of the 'bit'
  3. ^ John Tukey, 85, Statistician; Coined the Word 'Software', New York Times, Obituaries, July 28, 2000
  4. ^ Bhote, Keki, World Class Quality: Using Design of Experiments to Make It Happen, 2nd edition, 2000, Amacom, New York, pp. 196–197 ISBN# 0814404278

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

John Tukey (16 June 191526 July 2000) was an American statistician.

Sourced

  • Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.
    • The future of data analysis. Annals of Mathematical Statistics 33 (1), (1962), page 13.
  • The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data.

External links

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