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Sir Maurice George Kendall

(1907—1983) statistician


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(1907–83; b. Kettering, England; d. Redhill, England) English statistician. The son of a publican, Kendall failed to get a place in his local grammar school, but nevertheless won a scholarship to study mathematics at Cambridge U. On graduating he initially worked at the Ministry of Agriculture, where his work involved the study of time series. Kendall's work from that time underlies the modern approach to the analysis of time-series data. He also became interested in methods for measuring correlation; his initial paper on rank correlation was published in 1938, though Kendall's tau became widely used only after the publication in 1948 of his book Rank Correlation Methods. He may be best known as the author of the two-volume The Advanced Theory of Statistics (the volumes appearing in 1943 and 1946). For many years these volumes were the first reference used whenever there was a statistical inquiry. Further editions, with other authors, have appeared regularly ever since (currently with Kendall's name transferred to the title of the book). He became Professor of Statistics at the LSE in 1949, where he remained until 1961. From 1960 to 1962 he was President of the RSS and was awarded its Guy Medal in Silver in 1945 and in Gold in 1968. From 1972 to 1980 he was Director of the World Fertility Study. He was knighted in 1974.

From A Dictionary of Statistics in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.


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