Person: Moran, Patrick
Patrick Moran was an Australian statistician who worked in probability theory and its application to population and evolutionary genetics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- In 1928 Moran was sent to St Ignatius College, Riverview, an old Sydney school, for a few terms but then was educated at home for over a year.
- Moran entered Sydney University in 1934, before reaching his 17th birthday, aiming to study various sciences but to specialise in mathematics.
- After graduating, Moran continued studying aiming at the mathematical tripos at the University of Cambridge.
- While studying mathematics at Cambridge it had been Besicovitch who had the most influence and, during the war years, Moran undertook research on Hausdorff measure publishing several papers on the topic, including The measure of plane sets (1943), Measuring the surface area of a convex body (1944), and The measure of product and cylinder sets (1945) which was a joint publication with Besicovitch.
- Smithies did not make a good choice in what he proposed to Moran since the problem proved far too hard; indeed it has still not been solved.
- Moran made no progress but for relaxation worked on statistical problems suggested to him by Maurice Kendall and John Wishart.
- After a year working on the problem posed by Smithies, in 1946 Moran gave up his scholarship and was appointed as a Senior Research Officer at the Institute of Statistics at the University of Oxford.
- Working at the Institute of Statistics at the University of Oxford, Moran was attached to Balliol College and later lectured at Trinity College.
- In 1951 Moran was appointed as a University Lecturer at Oxford but he returned to Australia at the beginning of 1952 when he was appointed as foundation professor of statistics at the Australian National University in Canberra.
- Moran's contributions in many areas were very influential.
- The fourth of Moran's books was An Introduction to Probability Theory (1967).
- Moran kept up contacts with other statisticians both through visits abroad and having visitors come to Canberra.
- Moran was honoured for his outstanding research by election to the Australian Academy of Science in 1962 and also to the Royal Society of London in 1975.
- He was also honoured after his death by having the Australian Academy of Science beginning the award of the Moran Medal in 1990.
Born 14 July 1917, Kings Cross, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Died 19 September 1988, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive