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[edit] Karl Pearson

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March 27, 1857 - April 27, 1936

[edit] Born and died in London, England.

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Pearson applied statistics to biological problems of heredity and evolution.

Pearson graduated from Cambridge University in 1879, then spent most of his career at University College, London. He was the first Galton professor of eugenics, holding the chair from 1911 to 1933.

His book The Grammar of Science (1892), was remarkable in that it anticipated some of the ideas of relativity theory. He then became interested in developing mathematical methods for studying the processes of heredity and evolution.

He applied statistics to biological problems of heredity and evolution. From 1893-1912 he wrote 18 papers entitled Mathematical Contribution to the Theory of Evolution which contain his most valuable work. These papers contain contributions to regression analysis, the correlation coefficient and includes the chi-square test of statistical significance (1900). He coined the term 'standard deviation' in 1893. His work was influenced by the work of Edgeworth and in turn influenced the work of Yu le.

He was a co-founder of the statistical journal Biometrika.


[edit] Adapted from the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.