**George Box** was a British statistician whose name is associated with several different statistical techniques.

- He carried out experiments on small animals but the results of the tests varied considerably and Box knew that it was not chemistry which would allow him to make recommendations based on his experimental data but rather a knowledge of statistics.
- Box realised that he would have to learn sufficient statistics to carry out the task himself.
- The year 1942 was probably not the easiest one in which to find a suitable correspondence course in statistics and indeed, despite his efforts, Box failed to find such a course.
- Often such initiatives will go unnoticed, but this was not so in the case of Box for the quality of his work was recognised and, after the war ended, he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his contributions.
- It had another effect too, for it led Box to realise that he was more interested in statistics than he was in chemistry.
- Box began to publish papers such as A general distribution theory for a class of likelihood criteria (1949) and On the experimental attainment of optimum conditions (1951).
- This last paper, written jointly with K B Wilson, proved particularly significant since it brought Box to the attention of Frank Grubbs in the United States who arranged for an invitation to be sent to Box inviting him to be a visiting research professor at the Institute of Statistics at the University of North Carolina.
- Box was appointed to the Ronald Aylmer Fisher chair of statistics at the University of Wisconsin in 1971 and, in 1980, he was named Vilas Research Professor of Statistics at the University of Wisconsin, this being the highest honour that Wisconsin could bestow to a member of their faculty.
- The main areas to which Box has contributed are: statistical inference, robustness, and modelling strategy; experimental design and response surface methodology; time series analysis and forecasting; distribution theory, transformation of variables, and nonlinear estimation; and applications of statistics.
- His name is associated with many ideas in statistics such as the Box-Jenkins approach, Box-Jenkins models and Box-Behnken designs.
- Let us look briefly at some of the many books which Box has authored, usually in collaboration with other statisticians.
- Box, in collaboration with William Hunter (a former research student of Box who was awarded his Ph.D. in 1963) and Stuart Hunter, published Statistics for experimenters in 1978.
- In 1987 Box published Empirical model-building and response surfaces jointly with Norman Draper.
- On 18 October 1999 George Box was 80 years old.
- Box has received many honours for his outstanding contributions to statistics.

Born 18 October 1919, Gravesend, England. Died 28 March 2013, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin England

**Oâ€™Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive