Statistical Science

A conversation with Ralph A. Bradley

Myles Hollander

Full-text: Open access


Ralph A. Bradley was born in Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada on Nvember 28, 1923, but grew up in the village of Wellington on the shores of Lake Ontario. He graduated from Queen’s University in 1944 with an honors degree in mathematics and physics, was in the Canadian Army, 1944–1945 and returned to Queen's to complete an M.A. degree in 1946. In 1946 he entered the then new doctoral program in theoretical statistics at the University of Nrth Carolina and received the Ph.D. degree in June, 1949. His first academic position was at McGill University, 1949–1950, followed by nine years at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1950–1958. Bradley moved to Florida State University in 1959 to found a Department of Statistics there, heading the department until 1978, with the exception of ten months in Egypt in 1966 as a consultant to the Ford Foundation and the Institute of Statistical Studies and Research of the University of Cairo. He moved to the University of Georgia as Research Professor of Statistics in 1982. Although he retired in 1992, he continues to participate in activities in statistics there. He has been named Professor Emeritus at both Florida State and Georgia Universities.

Bradley has played a leadership role in the professional societies. He was Editor of Biometrics, 1957–1962, and Vice­President and President of the Eastern North American Region (1963–1965). He served as Vice­President (1975–1978) and President (1981) of the American Statistical Association (ASA). He headed (with Margaret E. Martin) the Coordinating Committee of the ASA Building and Development Fund (1982–1988) and was a member of the Future Goals Committee (1980). He has also served on various committees of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, been active in the International Statistical Institute, the Gordon Research Conferences, the Southern Regional Committee on Statistics, and the Ntional Institute of Statistical Sciences. He has served on the editorial boards of Biometrics, the Journal of Statistical Computing and Simulation, and Communications in Statistics­Theory and Methods and acted as an editorial advisor on the Wiley Series on Probability and Statistics (1954--1998).

Bradley has been active in research throughout his career. He has over 110 research papers in such areas as design of experiments, non­ parametric statistics, methodology for sensory evaluations, sequential analysis, multivariate analysis, probability theory and computing tech­ niques. Most of his papers stemmed from his statistical consulting on applied problems, or from the need to develop new theory to solve such problems. Bradley's consulting with General Foods on statistical methods in product evaluation was particularly influential in stimulating his own research and the research of others.

Article information

Statist. Sci., Volume 16, Number 1 (2001), 75-100.

First available in Project Euclid: 27 August 2001

Permanent link to this document

Digital Object Identifier

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier


Hollander, Myles. A conversation with Ralph A. Bradley. Statist. Sci. 16 (2001), no. 1, 75--100. doi:10.1214/ss/998929483.

Export citation


  • Ansari, A. R. and Bradley, R. A. (1960). Rank-sum tests for dispersions. Ann. Math. Statist. 31 1174-1189.
  • Barton, D. E. and David, F. N. (1958). A test for birth order effect. Ann. Human Genetics 22 230-257. Bradley, R. A. (1952a). Corrections for nonnormality in the use of the two-sample tand F-tests at high significance levels. Ann. Math. Statist. 23 103-113. Bradley, R. A. (1952b). The distribution of the t and F statistics for a class of non-normal populations. Virginia J. Science 3 1-32.
  • Bradley, R. A. (1953). Some statistical methods in taste testing and quality evaluation. Biometrics 9 22-38. Bradley, R. A. (1954a). Incomplete block rank analysis: On the appropriateness of the model for a method of paired comparisons. Biometrics 10 375-390. Bradley, R. A. (1954b). Rank analysis of incomplete block designs II. Additional tables for the method of paired comparisons. Biometrika 41 502-537.
  • Bradley, R. A. (1965). Another interpretation of a model for paired comparisons. Psychometrika 30 315-318.
  • Bradley, R. A. (1976). Science, statistics, and paired comparisons. Biometrics 32 213-232. Bradley, R. A. (1982a). The future of statistics as a discipline. J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 77 1-10. Bradley, R. A. (1982b). Statistics at the Chinese universities. In Proceedings of the American Statistical Association Social Statistics Section 112-118. Amer. Statist. Assoc., Alexandria, VA.
  • Bradley, R. A. (1984). Paired comparisons: some basic procedures and examples. In Handbook of Statistics 4 (P. R. Krishnaiah and P. K. Sen, eds.) 299-326. North-Holland, Amsterdam.
  • Bradley, R. A. (1990). The Florida State Department of Statistics. The first fifteen years. Comm. Statist. 20 3935-3960. [Rev. and reprinted from (1975) Review of the International Statistical Institute 43 335-362.]
  • Bradley, R. A. and El-Helbawy, A. T. (1976). Treatment contrasts in paired comparisons. Basic procedures with applications to factorials. Biometrika 62 255-262.
  • Bradley, R. A., Martin, D. C. and Wilcoxon, F. (1965). Sequential rank tests I. Monte Carlo studies of the two-sample procedure. Technometrics 7 463-483.
  • Bradley, R. A., Merchant, S. D. and Wilcoxon, F. (1966). Sequential rank tests II. Modified two-sample procedures. Technometrics 8 615-623.
  • Bradley, R. A. and Odeh, (1988). A generating algorithm for linear trend-free and nearly linear trend-free block designs. Comm. Statist. B17 1259-1280.
  • Bradley, R. A., Patel, K. M. and Wackerly, D. (1971). Approximate small-sample distributions for multivariate two-sample nonparametric tests. Biometrics 27 515-530.
  • Bradley, R. A. and Scott, E. (1980). Perspectives from a weather modification experiment. Comm. Statist. A9 1941-1960.
  • Bradley, R. A, and Sivakumaran, X. and Goodrum, X. (1985). Expeller optimization for peanut oil production. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers 28 316- 320.
  • Bradley, R. A. and Stewart, F. P. (1990). Some adjusted orthogonal, variance balanced, multidimensional block designs. Comm. Statist. B19 2109-2144. Bradley, R. A. and Stewart, F. P. (1991a). Intrablock analysis of designs with multiple blocking criteria. J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 86 792-797. Bradley, R. A. and Stewart, F. P. (1991b). Some partially variance balanced structurally incomplete row-column designs. Comm. Statist. B20 2451-2465.
  • Bradley, R. A. and Terry, M. E. (1952). Rank Analysis of incomplete block designs I. The method of paired comparisons. Biometrika 41 324-345.
  • Bradley, R. A. and Yeh, C. M. (1980). Trend-free block designs: theory. Ann. Statist. 8 883-893.
  • Bradley, R. A. and Yeh, C. M. (1983). Trend-free block designs: existence and construction results. Comm. Statist. A12 1-24.
  • Critchlow, D. E. and Fligner, M. A. (1993). Ranking models with item covariates. Probability Models and Statistical Analyses for Ranking Data. Lecture Notes in Statist. 80 1-19 Springer, New York.
  • David, H. A. (1963). The Method of Paired Comparisons. Griffin, London.
  • Davidson, R. R. and Bradley, R. A. (1969). Multivariate paired comparisons: the extension of a univariate model and associated estimation and test procedures. Biometrika 56 81-95.
  • Davidson, R. R. and Bradley, R. A. (1970). Multivariate paired comparisons: some large-sample results on estimation and tests of equality of preference. In Nonparametric Techniques in Statistical Inference (M. L. Puri, ed.) (with discussion by J. E. Jackson). 111-129. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Glickman, M. E. and Jones, A. C. (1999). Rating the Chess rating system. Chance 12 21-28.
  • Klotz, J. (1962). Nonparametric tests for scale. Ann. Math. Statist. 33 498-512.
  • Leysieffer, F. W.(1990). The second fifteen years: a continuation of the chronicle of the Department of Statistics at the Florida State University. Comm. Statist. A19 3935-3960.
  • Mosteller, F. (1951). Remarks on the method of paired comparisons: I. The least-squares solution assuming equal standard deviations and equal correlations. Psychometrika 16 3-9.
  • Pearce, S. C. and Moore, C. S. (1976). Reduction of experimental error in perennial crops, using adjustment by neighbouring plots. Experimental Agriculture 12 267-272.
  • Puri, M. L. and Sen, P. K. (1971). Nonparametric Methods in Multivariate Analysis. Wiley, New York.
  • Savage, I. R. and Sethuraman, J. (1966). Stopping times of a rank-order sequential probability ratio test based on Lehmann alternatives. Ann. Math. Statist. 37 1154-1160.
  • Siegel, S. and Tukey, J. W. (1960). A nonparametric sum of ranks procedure for relative spread in unpaired samples. J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 55 429-445.
  • Stewart, F. P. and Bradley, R. A. (1991). Some universally optimal row-column designs with empty nodes. Biometrika 78 337-348.
  • Thurstone, L. L. (1927). The method of paired comparisons for social values. J. Abnormal Social Psychology 21 384-400.
  • Wald, A. (1947). Sequential Analysis. Wiley, New York.
  • Weed, H. D. JR. and Bradley, R. A. (1971). Sequential onesample grouped signed rank tests for symmetry: basic procedures. J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 66 321-326.
  • Weed, H. D. JR. Bradley, R. A. and Govindarajulu, Z. (1974). Stopping times of some one-sample sequential rank tests. Ann. Statist. 2 1314-1322.
  • Wilcoxon, F. (1945). Individual comparisons by ranking methods. Biometrics 1 80-83.
  • Wilcoxon, F., Rhodes, L. J. and Bradley, R. A. (1963). Two sequential two-sample grouped rank tests with applications to screening experiments. Biometrics 19 58-84.
  • Yeh, C. M., Bradley, R. A. and Notz, W. I. (1985). Nearly trendfree block designs. J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 80 985-992.
  • Zermello, E. (1929). Die berechnung der turnier-ergebnisse als ein maximum problem der wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung. Mathematishe Zeitschrift 29 436-460.