George Pólya


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(1887–1985; b. Budapest, Hungary; d. Palo Alto, CA)

Hungarian statistician who spent nearly half his life in the United States. Pólya obtained his PhD from U Budapest in 1912. From 1914 to 1940 he was a member of the faculty of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. He then moved to the United States, occupying posts at Brown U and at Smith College. His final post, from 1946 to 1953, was as Professor at Stanford U. He was elected to membership of the NAS in 1976. He is quoted as saying that ‘If you cannot solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it’.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.

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