History of Statistics - Timeline

Time Contributor Contribution
Ancient Greece Philosophers Ideas - no quantitative analyses
17th Century Graunt, Petty

Pascal, Bernoulli

studied affairs of state, vital statistics of populations

studied probability through games of chance, gambling

18th Century Laplace, Gauss normal curve, regression through study of astronomy
19th Century Quetelet


astronomer who first applied statistical analyses to human biology

studied genetic variation in humans(used regression and correlation)

20th Century (early) Pearson

Gossett (Student)


studied natural selection using correlation, formed first academic department of statistics, Biometrika journal, helped develop the Chi Square analysis

studied process of brewing, alerted the statistics community about problems with small sample sizes, developed Student's test

evolutionary biologists - developed ANOVA, stressed the importance of experimental design

20th Century (later) Wilcoxon

Kruskal, Wallis






Computer Technology

biochemist studied pesticides, non-parametric equivalent of two-samples test

economists who developed the non-parametric equivalent of the ANOVA

psychologist who developed a non-parametric equivalent of the correlation coefficient

statistician who developed another non-parametric equivalent the correlation coefficient

statistician who developed multiple comparisons procedure

biochemist who studied pesticides, developed multiple comparisons procedure for control groups

agronomist who developed multiple comparisons procedure

provided many advantages over calculations by hand or by calculator, stimulated the growth of investigation into new techniques