Elizabeth Scott (mathematician)

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Elizabeth Scott (November 23, 1917 – December 20, 1988) was an American mathematician specializing in statistics.

Scott was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Her family moved to Berkeley, California when she was 4 years old. She attended the University of California, Berkeley where she studied mathematics and astronomy. There were few options for further study in astronomy, as the field was largely closed to women at the time, so she completed her graduate studies in mathematics. She received her Ph.D. in 1949, and received a permanent position in the Department of Mathematics at Berkeley in 1951.

She wrote over 30 papers on astronomy and 30 on weather modification research analysis, incorporating and expanding the use of statistical analyses in these fields. She also used statistics to promote equal opportunities and equal pay for female academics.

In 1957 Elizabeth Scott noted a bias in the observation of galaxy clusters. She noticed that for an observer to find a very distant cluster, it must contain brighter than normal galaxies and must also contain a large number of galaxies. She proposed a correction formula to adjust for (what came to be known as) the "Scott effect".[1] [2]

The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies awards a prize in her honour to female statisticians.

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