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The pleasures of statistics. The autobiography of Frederick Mosteller. Edited by Stephen E. Fienberg, David C. Hoaglin, and Judith M. Tanur. (English) Zbl 1187.01030
New York, NY: Springer (ISBN 978-0-387-77955-3/pbk; 978-0-387-77956-0/ebook). xvi, 344 p. (2010).
Frederick Mosteller (1916–2006) has inspired numerous statisticians and other scientists by his creative approach to statistics and its applications. This volume provides an autobiography of this mathematician.
From his perspective, Frederick Mosteller describes many of the projects and events in his scientific career. From humble beginnings in western Pennsylvania to becoming the founding chairman of Harvard University Department of Statistics and beyond, he inspired many statisticians, scientists, and students with his unabashed pragmatism, creative thinking, and zest for both learning and teaching. A special feature of the book is its chapter-length insider accounts of work on the pre-election polls of 1948, statistical aspects of the Kinsey report on sexual behavior in the human male, mathematical learning theory, authorship of the disputed Federalist papers, safety of anesthetics, and a wide-ranging examination of the Coleman report on equality of educational opportunity.
The content of this book is divided into three parts and its chapters are the following: Why did Dewey beat Truman in the pre-election polls of 1948?; Sexual behavior in the United States: The Kinsey Report; Learning theory: Founding mathematical psychology; Who wrote the disputed Federalist papers, Hamilton or Madison?; The safety of anesthetics: The National Halothane Study; Equality of educational opportunity: The Coleman Report; Childhood; Secondary school; Carnegie Institute of Technology; Graduate schools: Carnegie and Princeton; Magic; Beginning Research; Completing the doctorate; Coming to Harvard University; Organizing statistics; Evaluation; Teaching; Group Writing; The Cape; Biostatistics; Health policy and management; Health science policy; Editors’ epilogue.

MSC:
01A70 Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
01A80 Sociology (and profession) of mathematics
Biographic References:
Mosteller, Frederick
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