Person: Mosteller, Charles Frederick
Frederick Mosteller was an Americcan statistician who wrote widely and had a big influence on the development of statistics in America.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- His parents were William Roy Mosteller and Helen Kelley.
- Olds directed Mosteller's interests towards statistics.
- Mosteller graduated from the Carnegie Institute with a B.S. in 1938 and remained there for the academic year 1938-39 undertaking graduate studies.
- Around Christmas 1938 Mosteller was advised to attend a meeting of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in Detroit.
- Mosteller was awarded an A.M. from Princeton in 1942 and continued to undertake research for a Ph.D. advised by Samuel Wilks.
- After his first paper was published, Mosteller thought that he could work on the problem of up and down runs for his doctoral thesis but, after producing quite an extensive collection of results, he saw that similar results which in fact went further than his had just been published in a paper by Jacob Wolfowitz.
- John Tukey and Samuel Wilks were running a very active statistics seminar at Princeton and Mosteller presented work to this seminar which led to useful discussions.
- After completing work for his thesis at Princeton, Mosteller was appointed as a lecturer in the Social Relations Department at Harvard University.
- In 1957 the Statistics Department was set up at Harvard and Mosteller, who had been a leading figure in its creation, became its first chairman.
- It was at Harvard that Mosteller became interested in applying statistical techniques to assist in healthcare.
- In many ways Mosteller's contributions are too broad to give anything other than the briefest of overviews in this biography.
- One of the highly significant publications by Mosteller (with co-author David L Wallace) was the book Inference and Disputed Authorship: The Federalist (1964).
- In 1955, in collaboration with Robert Bush, Mosteller published Stochastic Models for Learning.
- We should mention another related area in which Mosteller did not apply statistics but rather he sought to raise the profile of statistics, namely in high school teaching.
- Mosteller had many collaborators but the person with whom he published most often was John Tukey.
- Mosteller received a long list of honours of which we can only mention a selection.
Born 24 December 1916, Clarksburg, West Virginia, USA. Died 23 July 2006, Falls Church, Virginia, USA.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive