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Ronald Fisher

Ronald FisherAKA Ronald Aylmer Fisher

Born: 17-Feb-1890
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 29-Jul-1962
Location of death: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Cremated, St. Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Mathematician

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Analysis of variance and covariance

Statistician and geneticist Ronald Fisher advanced the practical applications of statistics, and introduced the method of maximum likelihood. He made significant contributions to the understanding of Darwin's theory of natural selection, and many of the concepts Fisher explored in his early agricultural research and his later studies of how genes determine different traits were applicable across numerous other sciences. He introduced the concept of the fiducial interval, wrote extensively on the theory of estimation and analysis of variance and covariance, and his Statistical Methods for Research Workers became the fundamental text for research students through most of the Twentieth Century. His daughter, Joan Fisher, married statistician (broken link, George Box) and wrote her father's biography.

Father: George Fisher (auctioneer)
Mother: Katherine Heath Fisher ("Katie", d. 1904 peritonitis)
Brother: Geoffrey Fisher (b. 1876)
Sister: Evelyn Fisher (b. 1877)
Brother: Alan Fisher (b. 1878, d. infancy)
Wife: Ruth Eileen Gratton Guinness Fisher (b. circa 1901, m. 26-Apr-1917, seven daughters, two sons)
Son: George Fisher (b. 1919, d. 1943 World War II)
Daughter: Joan Fisher Box (author)

    High School: Harrow School, Middlesex, England
    University: Caius and Gonville College, Cambridge University (1909)
    University: BA Astronomy, Cambridge University (1912)
    Teacher: Mathematics and Physics, Rugby School, Warwickshire, England (1915-19)
    Scholar: Statistician, Rothamsted Agricultural Experiment Station (1919-33)
    Teacher: Statistics, Iowa State University (1931, 36)
    Professor: Eugenics, University College London (1933-43)
    Professor: Genetics, Cambridge University (1943-57)
    Teacher: Mathematical Statistics, University of Adelaide (1959-62)

    Royal Medal 1938
    RSS Guy Medal in Gold 1946
    Darwin Medal 1948
    Knight of the British Empire 1952
    Copley Medal 1955
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member
    American Philosophical Society Foreign Member
    German Academy of Scientists Leopoldina Foreign Member
    International Society of Hematology
    National Academy of Sciences 1948
    Royal Danish Academy of Sciences
    Royal Society 1929
    Royal Statistical Society (resigned)
    Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    Draft Deferment: World War I C5
    English Ancestry

Author of books:
Statistical Methods for Research Workers (1925)
The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930)
Nervous Diseases and Muscular Dystrophies (1934, with Julia Bell)
The Design of Experiments (1935)
Statistical Tables (1947)
Creative Aspects of Natural Law (1950)
Statistical Methods and Scientific Inference (1956)


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