Kirstine Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Kirstine Smith (April 12, 1878 – November 11, 1939) was a Danish statistician. She is credited with the creation of the field of optimal design of experiments.

Background[edit]

Smith grew up in the town of Nykøbing Mors, Denmark. In 1903, she graduated from the University of Copenhagen with a degree in mathematics and physics. After, she worked as secretary to astronomer and statistician Thorvald Thiele[1] and later with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea for which she authored several volumes on fish populations.[2]

In 1916, Smith was admitted for doctoral training at the University of London where Karl Pearson had founded the first university statistics department. She was a student of Pearson who described her as “brilliant” in a letter to Ronald Fisher.[3] At London, she produced an influential paper in the journal Biometrika on minimum chi-squared estimation of the correlation coefficient.[3] Disagreements about aspects of her work led to increased friction between Pearson and Fisher.[3]

In her dissertation, which was published in 1918 (see below), she invented optimal design where she computed G-optimal designs for polynomial regression of order up to 6.[3] After finishing her doctorate she moved to Copenhagen, where she worked as a researcher for the Commission for Ocean Research 1918 to 1924 and with Johannes Schmidt at the Carlsberg Laboratory from 1920 to 1921.[1] She eventually left research after obtaining her teaching credentials to become a high school teacher.[2]

Selected statistical papers[edit]

  • Smith, K. (1916). On the ‘best’ values of the constants in frequency distributions. Biometrika, 11(3), 262–276.
  • Smith, K. (1918). On the standard deviations of adjusted and interpolated values of an observed polynomial function and its constants and the guidance they give towards a proper choice of the distribution of observations. Biometrika, 12(1/2), 1–85.
  • Smith, K. (1922).The standard deviations of fraternal and parental correlation coefficients. Biometrika, 14(1/2), 1–22.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gumpertz, M.L. Thumbnail biography of Kirstine Smith (Accessed 23 August 2013).
  2. ^ a b Crary Group (Accessed 23 August 2013 via Google archive).
  3. ^ a b c d Guttorp, P.; Lindgren, G. (2009). "Karl Pearson and the Scandinavian school of statistics". International Statistical Review. 77: 64. doi:10.1111/j.1751-5823.2009.00069.x.