Penn State

Aleksandra B. Slavkovic - associate professor of statistics, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Pleasures of Statistics: The Autobiography of Frederick Mosteller

Author: Mosteller, Frederic (Auth); Fienberg, Stephen E.; Hoaglin, David C.; Tanur, Judith M. (Eds.)

Book Description:

This book, published in 2010, the year of my tenure, involves two world renowned statisticians whose careers and approach to statistics have inspired mine. Frederic Mosteller was one of the most eminent statisticians of the 20th century. He encouraged and advocated collaborations and interdisciplinary projects, promoting statistics and probability for their use in everyday life and to the advancement of just about any other science. Stephen E. Fienberg, Mosteller's graduate student and my doctoral advisor, has kept that same spirit alive, and enhanced it by identifying new ways of connecting different discipline and scientists with statistics. The book features insider accounts of work on real-life studies that have shaped our society such as statistical aspects of the pre-election polls of 1948 and the famously inaccurate "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline, on evaluating sexual behavior in the U.S. and the Kinsey report, and many others. It offers insights on becoming "a superb teacher, a prolific scholar, a respected leader, and a valued advisor."

Mosteller's clear and entertaining voice has been preserved, making this book accessible to a wide audience, and one that will convince readers that statistics is anything but boring.


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