John Arbuthnot

(1667—1735) physician and satirist

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(1667–1735; b. Inverbervie, Scotland; d. London, England)

Scottish mathematician and royal physician. In 1692 the first English work on probability was Arbuthnot's translation of De Ratiociniis in Ludo Aleae (Calculation in Games of Chance) by the Dutchman Christiaan Huygens. After graduating in medicine at St Andrews U in 1696, Arbuthnot moved to London. In 1700 his Essay on the Usefulness of Mathematical Learning was published. In 1704 he was elected FRS. In the following year he was appointed physician to Queen Anne. His 1710 paper on the imbalance between male and female births may be regarded as the first application of probability to social statistics.

Subjects: Literature — Probability and Statistics.

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