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The Importance of Practice in the Development of Statistics

George E. P. Box
Technometrics
Vol. 26, No. 1 (Feb., 1984), pp. 1-8
DOI: 10.2307/1268410
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1268410
Page Count: 8
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The Importance of Practice in the Development of Statistics
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Abstract

The article shows how application and consideration of the scientific context in which statistics is used can initiate important advances such as least squares, ratio estimators, correlation, contingency tables, studentization, experimental design, the analysis of variance, randomization, fractional replication, variance component analysis, bioassay, limits for a ratio, quality control, sampling inspection, nonparametric tests, transformation theory, ARIMA time series models, sequential tests, cumulative sum charts, data analysis plotting techniques, and a resolution of the Bayes-frequentist controversy. It appears that advances of this kind are frequently made because practical context reveals a novel formulation that eliminates an unnecessarily limiting framework.

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