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August 2003 Quiet Contributor: The Civic Career and Times of John W. Tukey
F. R. Anscombe
Statist. Sci. 18(3): 287-310 (August 2003). DOI: 10.1214/ss/1076102417


Across 60 years, John W. Tukey contributed to the advancement of democracy, peace and industry via development, application and teaching of knowledge. In his nation's service, he contributed to the Nike missile defense, U-2 spy plane, surveillance satellites in space, hydrophones in the oceans, seismic data interpretation and communications code breaking. As computer and communication pioneer, Tukey collaborated with von Neumann, Shannon and Pierce; coined "bit'' and "software''; applied statistical time series methods to processing signals; and recognized the usefulness of fast Fourier transform algorithms to digital processing of correlated data. Practical problems inspired Tukey to invent new ways to analyze data. As teacher and author, he made these available to others. Tukey advised government and industry regarding environmental quality, educational testing, the census, pharmaceutical efficacy, manufacturing quality and technologies for gathering intelligence. This paper explores the civic career, influences and philosophies of a practicing data analyst, inventor and remarkable public servant.


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F. R. Anscombe. "Quiet Contributor: The Civic Career and Times of John W. Tukey." Statist. Sci. 18 (3) 287 - 310, August 2003.


Published: August 2003
First available in Project Euclid: 6 February 2004

MathSciNet: MR2056571
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/ss/1076102417

Keywords: Alan Turing , Alfred C. Kinsey , American Philosophical Society , Analysis of variance , Arthur Burks , Bell Labs , bit , boxplot , Brockway McMillan , Brown University , census , Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences , Central Intelligence Agency , CFCs , Charles P. Winsor , Claude E. Shannon , Daniel P. Moynihan , David C. Hoaglin , Edgar Anderson , Educational testing , Edward Purcell , Edwin Land , election returns , environmental protection , exploratory data analysis , F. J. Anscombe , fast Fourier transform , Frederick Mosteller , H. H. Goldstine , Health Effects Institute , Hendrik Bode , I. J. Good , Institute for Advanced Study , Institute for Defense Analyses , James Killian , John Archibald Wheeler , John R. Pierce , John von Neumann , Lyman Spitzer, Jr. , M. H. A. Newman , Merck , Multiple comparisons , National Security Agency , Nike missile , Norbert Wiener , one degree of freedom for nonadditivity , Oskar Morgenstern , pharmaceutical testing , Presidential Science Advisory Committee , Princeton University , R. A. Fisher , RAND , Richard Feynman , Richard Garwin , Richard Leibler , Robust estimates , Samuel S. Wilks , software , Solomon Kullback , SOSUS , Stanislaw Ulam , stem-and-leaf display , System Development Foundation , time series , U-2 spy plane , W. E. Deming , Walter Munk , William F. Friedman , William O. Baker , Xerox PARC

Rights: Copyright © 2003 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.18 • No. 3 • August 2003
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