Ronald Aylmer Fisher

Fisher, Ronald Aylmer

 

Born Feb. 17, 1890, in London; died July 29, 1962, in Adelaide, Australia. British statistician and geneticist, one of the founders of mathematical statistics and mathematical population genetics. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1929).

Fisher graduated from Cambridge University in 1912. He was a statistician at the Mercantile and General Investment Company from 1913 to 1915 and at the Rothamsted Experimental Station from 1919 to 1933. Between 1933 and 1943, Fisher was professor of eugenics at the University of London. He held the chair of genetics at Cambridge University from 1943 to 1957 and served as president of one of the university’s colleges from 1956 to 1959.

Fisher’s principal works are on the theory of statistics and the genetic theory of evolution. He introduced the notion of a sufficient statistic, constructed a theory of point and interval statistical estimates, developed methods of experimental design, and made an important contribution to the modern theory of statistical testing of hypotheses. Fisher introduced the basic concepts of the genetics of quantitative characters, investigated stochastic processes in populations, and proposed a number of models for the action of natural selection. He was the first to consider the case of superdominance by adaptation, and he set forth a theory of the evolution of dominance. Fisher formulated the fundamental theorem of natural selection, which bears his name.

Fisher was a member of the Royal Statistical Society and an honorary member of several academies and a number of British and foreign scientific societies. He received honorary doctoral degrees in science and law from many universities, including Harvard, London, Chicago, Calcutta, and Glasgow. Fisher was awarded the Darwin Medal of the Royal Society of London.

WORKS

“The Correlation Between Relatives on the Supposition of Mendelian Inheritance.” Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1919, vol. 52, part 2.
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Oxford, 1930.
The Design of Experiments. Edinburgh-London, 1935.
Statistical Tables for Biological, Agricultural, and Medical Research. London-Edinburgh, 1938. (With F. Yates.)
The Theory of Inbreeding. Edinburgh-London, 1949.
Statistical Methods and Scientific Inference. Edinburgh-London, 1956.
In Russian translation:
Statisticheskie melody dlia issledovatelei. Moscow, 1958.

L. A. ZHIVOTOVSKII

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