**Florence Nightingale David** was an English statistician who worked to increase the opportunities for women to study statistics. She became head of the Statistics Department at the University of California, Riverside. Among her research interests were the history of probability and of statistical ideas.

- Florence Nightingale David was given the names 'Florence Nightingale' by her parents because they were friends of Florence Nightingale.
- Florence Nightingale died a year after Florence Nightingale David was born.
- In 1929 Florence entered Bedford College for Women with the intention of becoming an actuary.
- Pearson was certainly impressed with David and he offered her a research assistant position in University College London.
- In that year Wilks and Churchill Eisenhart visited London and together with David attended Fisher's lectures.
- After Pearson had arranged for the research assistant position to be extended, David was offered an assistant lectureship in statistics at University College London following Pearson's retirement in 1935.
- When the war ended David returned to University College London to resume her lecturing post, now as a lecturer.
- David remained at University College London until 1967.
- David was appointed as a visiting professor and research statistician at the Department of Statistics and Applied Climatology and Forestry Division at the University of California, Berkeley.
- It was in 1948 that David had made her first visit to California and after that she regularly taught summer schools at Berkeley.
- In 1967 David joined the University of California at Riverside and in the following year she was appointed to the Chair of Biostatistics in the newly established Department of Biostatistics.
- The Department was renamed the Department of Statistics in 1970 and David became the Chair of Statistics.
- David was renowned as a teacher as well as a researcher.
- David died of lung cancer at the age of 83 at her home in Kensington, in Contra Costa County, California.
- Let us look at a few examples of David's contributions to statistics.
- David published Tables of the ordinates and probability integral of the distribution of the correlation coefficient in small samples in 1938.
- In the second David examines the signs of the deviations from expected numbers to see whether they change sufficiently often.
- In 1949 David published Probability Theory for Statistical Methods, an elementary textbook in the theory of probability for students of statistics.
- In 1962 David published Games, gods and gambling which many regard as her most significant book.
- In the following year she published Combinatorial chance written jointly with David E Barton.
- David and Barton wrote a paper in 1966 which, since the archive is based in Scotland, we must mention.
- Also in 1966 David and Barton, together with Maurice Kendall, published Symmetric function and allied tables.
- Some of David's work was directed towards applications of statistics to ecology.

Born 23 August 1909, Ivington, near Leominster, England. Died 23 July 1993, Kensington, Contra Costa County, California, USA.

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin England, Statistics, Women

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