**Frank Yates** was an English statistician whose work was important in the development of the subject.

- He was educated at Wadham House, a private school where the mathematics master was both an excellent mathematician and teacher who encouraged Frank into this direction.
- By chance Yates met R A Fisher and, after applying to him for a post, he was appointed assistant statistician at Rothamsted Experimental Station in August 1931.
- When Fisher was appointed to a chair in University College London in 1933, Yates became Head of Statistics at Rothamsted.
- Yates was 79 years old at the time but they still enjoyed 13 years of marriage; Ruth died in 1999.
- Yates worked on experimental design, often collaborating with Fisher.
- Yates introduced the 'continuity correction' in 1934 and published an extremely important volume of statistical tables jointly with Fisher in 1936.
- Yates' monograph on factorial design published in 1937 was another important publication.
- In a paper in the Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society in 1939, Yates discussed the Behrens-Fisher test of the significance of the difference of means of pairs of samples independently drawn from normal populations in which the variances are not assumed to be equal.
- Yates published a major paper on Systematic sampling in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1948.
- A survey Yates wrote in 1951 on the design of experiments Quelques développements modernes dans la planification des expériences discussed topics such as: factorial experiments, including a discussion of the weighing problem; the theory of confounding in factorial experiments; fractional replications; split plot designs; balanced and partially balanced incomplete block designs; lattices; lattice squares; and quasi-Latin squares.
- In his Presidential Address Yates pointed out that, as well as making the impossible possible, computers provided speed, thoroughness and a fairly complete mechanisation of techniques for work which would previously have been done by hand.
- The last of these, Yates suggested, is particularly important for specialists such as biologists.
- Yates remarked that most of the calculations which were possible by hand calculation were still being done that way, probably because no code had been written and made available.
- Yates was an extremely good Departmental Head.

Born 12 May 1902, Manchester, England. Died 17 June 1994, Harpenden, England.

View full biography at MacTutor

Origin England, Statistics

**O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F**: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive