Statisticians at Work: Inspiration, Aspiration, Ambition

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TITLE: Statisticians at Work: Inspiration, Aspiration, Ambition



A key measure of the maturity and quality of a scientific community is how it judges and values accomplishments and (or versus)  scholarship.  To address this question, I will describe the motivation or drive for accomplishments and/or scholarship at three levels: inspiration, aspiration, ambition. They represent different (but not necessarily exclusive) mindsets or modi operandi. I will use several prominent examples in statistics history to explain or illustrate the acts of inspiration, aspiration, and ambition. They include: Pearson’s arguments with Fisher and with Yule, some breakthrough work of Fisher, Neyman, Tukey, Box, Efron, and the more humbling experience of my work in experimental design. Then I will share some thoughts on what are good or bad mathematical statistics work. Finally, I will give some advice (three dos, three don’ts) to young researchers. Throughout this talk, I will use the “lens” of inspiration, aspiration, and ambition in making my examinations, remarks and suggestions.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Anita Race
  • Created: 09/06/2011
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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