John Wishart (statistician)

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John Wishart
JohnWishart.jpg
Born(1898-11-28)28 November 1898
Montrose, Scotland
Died14 July 1956(1956-07-14) (aged 57)
Acapulco, Mexico
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
University of Cambridge
University College London
Scientific career
InstitutionsRothamsted Experimental Station
University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisorKarl Pearson
Doctoral studentsM. S. Bartlett
William Gemmell Cochran
Herman Otto Hartley

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

He gave his name to the Wishart distribution in statistics.[1]

Life[edit]

Wishart was born in Perth, Scotland on 28 November 1898, the son of Elizabeth and John Wishart of Montrose. His father was a bootmaker.[2] The family moved from Montrose to Perth around 1903, living at 36 Robertsons Buildings on Barrack Street.[3][full citation needed] He was educated at Perth Academy.[4]

In the First World War he was conscripted into the Black Watch in 1917 and served two years in France.[2]

He studied Mathematics at Edinburgh University under Edmund Taylor Whittaker, graduating MA BSc before winning a place at Cambridge University where he gained a further MA. He then gained a doctorate (DSc) at the University College London under Karl Pearson. After a year of teacher training at Moray College of Education in Edinburgh he then worked for some years as a Mathematics Teacher at West Leeds High School.[citation needed]

In 1927 he joined Rothamsted Experimental Station with Ronald Fisher, and then (from 1931) as a Reader 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,[5] his proposers being Edmund Taylor Whittaker, Malcolm Laurie, Alexander Craig Aitken and Robert Schlapp.[6]

He edited Biometrika from 1937. In 1950 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.[7][failed verification][citation needed] He first formulated a generalised product-moment distribution named the Wishart distribution in his honour, in 1928.

In the Second World War he first served as a Captain in the Intelligence Corps then in 1942 became assistant secretary at the Admiralty.[8]

Wishart drowned aged 57 in July 1956, having suffered a stroke while swimming in the sea at Revolcadero Beach, Acapulco. He was in Acapulco as a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and on a mission to set up a research centre.[2][additional citation(s) needed]

Publications[edit]

  • Biometrika

Family[edit]

In 1924 he married Olive Birdsall. They had two sons.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sinha, Sitabhra; Chatterjee, Arnab; Chakraborti, Anirban; Chakraborti, Bikas K. (2011). Econophysics : an introduction (1st ed.). Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. ISBN 978-3-527-40815-3. OCLC 699340125.
  2. ^ a b c O'Connor, J J; Robertson, E F (October 2003). "John Wishart - Biography". Maths History. Archived from the original on 30 November 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  3. ^ Perth Street Directory 1905
  4. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5.
  5. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). Vol. 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.
  6. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5.
  7. ^ View/Search Fellows of the ASA, retrieved 2016-07-23.
  8. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5.

References[edit]