David Hand (statistician)

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David Hand OBE
Born (1950-06-30) June 30, 1950 (age 66)
Nationality British
Fields Statistics
Institutions Institute of Psychiatry
Open University
Imperial College London
Alma mater Oxford University
University of Southampton
Thesis The Classification of Incomplete Vectors (1977)
Doctoral advisor Bruce Godfrey Batchelor[1]
Notable awards Guy Medal (Silver, 2002)
IEEE-ICDM Outstanding Contributions Award, 2004

David John Hand OBE FBA (born 30 June 1950 in Peterborough[2]) is a British statistician. His research interests include multivariate statistics, classification methods, pattern recognition, the computational statistics and the foundations of statistics.[3] He has written books on finance, measurement and computation in statistics, as well as authoring the Very Short Introduction to statistics.

Hand was a professor of statistics at the Open University from 1988 until 1999, when he moved to Imperial College London.[2] He was awarded the Guy Medal in Silver by the Royal Statistical Society in 2002 and served as its President in 2008–9, then again from in 2010 after Bernard Silverman stood down.[4] He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003.[2]

Hand's book The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day was published by Scientific American in February 2014.

Hand was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to research and innovation.[5][6]

Selected works[edit]


  • 2001. (with Mannila H. and Smyth P). Principles of Data Mining. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262082907
  • 2014. (with Paul Allin). "The Wellbeing of Nations: Meaning, Motive and Measurement". Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-48957-4
  • 2014. "The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen All the Time". Farrar Strauss Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-17534-4