Data defines the model by dint of genetic programming, producing the best decile table.


Statistical Terms: Who Coined Them, and When?
Bruce Ratner, Ph.D.

I am always statistics-happy to stumble on a statistical factoid, e.g., who first used the term “degrees of freedom,” “P-value,” and even the word “statistics.” The purpose of this article is to list statistical terms that I find irresistible in knowing who coined them and when.

  • Additivity (in ANOVA) – Eisenhart, C. (1947)
  • Biased (errors) – Bowley, A. L. (1897)
  • Bonferroni inequalities – Feller, W. (1950)
  • Chi-squared – Pearson, K. (1900)
  • Cluster analysis – Tryon, R. C. (1939)
  • Coefficient of correlation – Pearson, K. (1896)
  • Correlated – Galton, F. (1875)
  • Correlation – Galton, F. (1888)
  • Correlation, multiple - Pearson, K (1888)
  • Correlation Coefficient – Pearson, K (1896)
  • Decile – Galton, F. (1882)
  • Decile table, optimization of – Ratner, B. (1994)
  • Degrees of freedom – Fisher, R. A. (1922)
  • Dispersion, measure of – Bowley, A. L. (1907)
  • Estimator – Pitman, E.J. G. – (1938)
  • Goodness-of-fit – Pearson, K. (1900)
  • Imputation, genetic – Ratner, B. (1994)
  • Jackknife – Miller, R. G. (1964)
  • Level of Significance – Fisher, R. A. (1925)
  • Logistic – Verhulst, P. E., (1845)
  • Logit – Berkson, J. (1944)
  • Method of least squares – Legendre, A. M. (1805)
  • Mode – Pearson, K. (1895)
  • Multiple correlation – Pearson, K. (1908)
  • Multiple correlation coefficient – Pearson, K. (1914)
  • Nonparametric – Wolfowitz, J. (1942)
  • Normal distribution – Galton, F. (1889)
  • Normal score – Fisher, R. A., and Yule, F. (1938)
  • P-value – Brownlee, K. A. (1960)
  • Probit – Bliss, C. I. (1934)
  • Quantile – Kendall, M. G. (1940)
  • Quartile – Galton, F. (1882)
  • Range – Lloyd, H. (1848)
  • Regression – Galton, F. (1885)
  • Standard Deviation – Pearson, K. (1894)
  • Standard Error – Yule, G. U. (1897)
  • Statistic – Fisher, R. A. (1922)
  • Statistics – Hooper, W. (1770) Found in Bielfeld’s Elem. Universal Educ. III xiii 269. “The science, that is called statistics, teachers us what is the political arrangement of all the modern states of the know world.”
  • Unbiased (error) – Bowley, A. L. (1897)
  • Uniform distribution – Uspensky, J. V. (1937)
  • Unimodal – de Helguero, F. (1904)
  • Variance – Fisher, R. A. (1918)
(This abstract draws from David, H. A., “First (?) “Occurrence of Common Terms in Mathematical Statistics,” “The American Statistician,” Vol. 49, No. 2, 1995.

For more information about this article, call Bruce Ratner at 516.791.3544 or 1 800 DM STAT-1; or e-mail at br@dmstat1.com.
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