The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century

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Macmillan, 2002 - Mathematics - 340 pages
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An insightful, revealing history of the magical mathematics that transformed our world. The Lady Tasting Tea is not a book of dry facts and figures, but the history of great individuals who dared to look at the world in a new way.

At a summer tea party in Cambridge, England, a guest states that tea poured into milk tastes different from milk poured into tea. Her notion is shouted down by the scientific minds of the group. But one man, Ronald Fisher, proposes to scientifically test the hypothesis. There is no better person to conduct such an experiment, for Fisher is a pioneer in the field of statistics.

The Lady Tasting Tea spotlights not only Fisher's theories but also the revolutionary ideas of dozens of men and women which affect our modern everyday lives. Writing with verve and wit, David Salsburg traces breakthroughs ranging from the rise and fall of Karl Pearson's theories to the methods of quality control that rebuilt postwar Japan's economy, including a pivotal early study on the capacity of a small beer cask at the Guinness brewing factory. Brimming with intriguing tidbits and colorful characters, The Lady Tasting Tea salutes the spirit of those who dared to look at the world in a new way.

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User Review  - FKarr - LibraryThing

overview of statistical thought and progress in 20th century; needed more math, needed to show links between thought, needed actual examples rather that mere description of where used Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

A bunch of mini biographies of statisticians, along with sort-of descriptions of why what they did was important. I say sort-of because there was often not enough for me to really understand why what ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

David Salsburg is a former Senior Research Fellow at Pfizer, Inc., and currently works as a private consultant. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and received a lifetime achievement award from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association. The author of technical books and over fifty scientific articles, Salsburg has taught at Connecticut College, Harvard School of Public Health, Rhode Island College, Trinity College, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in New London, Connecticut.

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