Some nice quotes about statistics

posted by Nicolai Baldin on January 5, 2017

I here collect some nice quotes about statistics and mathematical research in general. I hope people quoted here do not mind being quoted and will let me know if it's not the case.


"For a long time I have thought I was a statistician, interested in inferences from the particular to the general. But as I have watched mathematical statistics evolve, I have had cause to wonder and to doubt. ... All in all I have come to feel that my central interest is in data analysis, which I take to include, among other things: procedures for analyzing data, techniques for interpreting the results of such procedures, ways of planning the gathering of data to make its analysis easier, more precise or more accurate, and all the machinery and results of (mathematical) statistics which apply to analyzing data." John Tukey [from "The Future of Data Analysis". The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 1–67, 1962. a very exciting read]


"In every statistics class there is a student who deeply cares about measurability issues and whom you should always be able to make happy" Marc Hoffmann [a very nice quotation heard in a course on high-frequency statistical inference, which I was privileged to attend]


"Basically, I am not interested in doing research. I am interested in understanding, which is quite a different thing." David Harold Blackwell [from an interview by Donald Albers in Mathematical people]



"Do not trust your proofs after 8 o'clock." Peter Mathe [from a conversation in Luminy, 2014] In fact, I have been really trying to follow this one :)




"If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I'd still swim. And I'd despise the one who gave up." Abraham Maslow [aparently from an interview, though I came across it on wikipedia]