John Wishart (statistician)

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John Wishart
Born(1898-11-28)28 November 1898
Died14 July 1956(1956-07-14) (aged 57)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Alma materEdinburgh University
Cambridge University
University College London
Scientific career
InstitutionsRothamsted Experimental Station
University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisorKarl Pearson
Doctoral studentsM. S. Bartlett William Gemmell Cochran

Dr John Wishart FRSE (28 November 1898 – 14 July 1956) was a Scottish mathematician and agricultural statistician.

He worked successively at University College London with Karl Pearson, at Rothamsted Experimental Station with Ronald Fisher, and then as a leader in statistics in the University of Cambridge where he became the first Director of the Statistical Laboratory in 1953. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1931,[1] and edited Biometrika from 1937. In 1950 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.[2] He first formulated a generalised product-moment distribution named the Wishart distribution in his honour, in 1928.

Wishart drowned aged 57 having suffered a stroke while swimming in the sea at Revolcadero Beach, Acapulco while representing the Food and Agriculture Organization on a mission to set up a research centre.


  1. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  2. ^ View/Search Fellows of the ASA, accessed 2016-07-23.