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30 July 2006

C. Frederick Mosteller, 1916-2006

C. Frederick Mosteller, the first chairman of the Statistics Department at Harvard, passed away last week at the age of 89. He served as chair of the Statistics Department from 1957 to 1969, and later chaired the departments of Biostatistics and Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. His obituary in the New York Times mentions his work reviewing the performance of pollsters in the Dewey-Truman election of 1948 and his explanation of the Red Sox inexplicable loss in the 1946 World Series ("There should be no confusion here between the 'winning team' and the 'better team'"), but doesn't say that he took a leave of absence in the early sixties to record a lecture series for NBC. According to one history of the Statistics Department, 75,000 students took the course for credit and 1.20 million (give or take) watched the lectures on television. Imagine doing that today....

Posted by Mike Kellermann at 8:55 PM

13 July 2006

Job: Preceptor in Statistical Methods and Mathematics

Harvard University invites applications for the full-time position of Preceptor in Statistical Methods and Mathematics beginning September 1, 2006. The preceptor is expected to design and teach one or more introductory courses in mathematical and statistical methods, and related computer support, for undergraduate and graduate students in social and health sciences, education, public policy and related areas. In addition, work in collaboration with faculty to build infrastructure and support statistical and mathematical courses in the Government Department in the design of teaching software, coordination with computer support, creation of laboratory and discussion components, and the development and integration of innovative teaching materials. The position also entails significant management responsibilities, including pedagogical mentoring, advanced programming, sample creation, software testing and documentation, and curriculum research and design. Applicants must have a strong background in statistical methods. Acts as primary liaison between instructors and teaching assistants. For more information, please see this ad.

Posted by Gary King at 9:02 PM

1 July 2006


A letter I wrote in reaction to the Texas decision made it into today's New York Times. It even has a nice little plug for IQSS at the bottom.

Posted by Andrew C. Thomas at 2:52 PM