John Aitchison

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This article is about the Scottish statistician. For other uses, see John Aitchison (disambiguation).
John Aitchison
John Aitchison October 2007 in Girona (Spain).jpg
Born 22 July 1926
East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland, U.K.
Died 23 December 2016 (aged 90)
Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Nationality British / Scottish
Fields Statistics
Institutions University of Hong Kong, University of Virginia
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Known for lognormal distribution, logratio approach to compositional data analysis
Notable awards Guy Medal, (1982); William Christian Krumbein Medal, 1995

John Aitchison (22 July 1926 – 23 December 2016) was a Scottish statistician. He studied at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge. From 1966 to 1976 he was Titular Professor of Statistics and Mitchell Lecturer in Statistics at the University of Glasgow. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1968. In 1976 he joined the University of Hong Kong as the founding Professor of Statistics. On his retirement from the University of Hong Kong in 1989, he joined the University of Virginia as Professor and Chairman of Division of Statistics. In 1986 he published the book The Statistical Analysis of Compositional Data, the key reference to date on the analysis of compositional data.

In 1952, he married Muriel Shackleton and they had three children together.[1] Aitchison died in December 2016 at the age of 90.[2]


In 1988 Aitchison received the Guy Medal in Silver of the Royal Statistical Society for the 'paper on "The Statistical Analysis of Compositional Data”, which he read to the Society on 13 January 1982 (JRSS B 44 139-177), and for influential contributions to distribution theory, practical Bayesian statistics, statistical diagnosis in medicine and many other areas of applied and theoretical statistics.' In 1997 he received the William Christian Krumbein Medal of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences for a 'distinguished career as author and researcher in the field of mathematical geology.'

Books authored[edit]

  • The Statistical Analysis of Compositional Data, Aitchison, J. (1986)
  • The Lognormal Distribution, Aitchison, J. and Brown, J.A.C. (1957)
  • Statistical Prediction Analysis, Aitchison, J. and Dunsmore, I.R. (1975)


External links[edit]