Egon Sharpe Pearson

August 11, 1895-June 12,1980

Egon Sharpe Pearson was the only son of British statistician Karl Pearson. Egon did plenty to make his own mark on statistics, however. Egon helped develop theories dealing with applications of statistical techniques, statistical theory, opera tions research, and statistical education.

Pearson had trouble completing his undergrad work due to illness and war work during World War I. When he finally did complete his undergrad work, he went on to do grad work with W.S. Eddington, F. J.M. Stratton, F.L. Engledow, and G.U. Yule. Aft er the completion of his grad work, he took an apprenticeship under his father at University College in London. IT was during this apprenticeship that he first made contact with Jerzy Neyman and W.S. Gosset. He went on to do extensive work with these ge ntleman that was often conducted over great distances. The Neyman-Pearson approach of alternative hypotheses came into being. This approach was greatly disputed by R.A. Fisher, but eventually was accepted.

Pearson went on to become the head of the Department of Statistics at University College after the retirement of his father. He hired Neyman to work at the University, which gave them the chance to work even more on their approach. This was not P earson only project though. He also was went on to work with L.J. Comrie and H.O. Hartley. He was concerned with calculating new tables, percentage points of Pearson curves, and distribution of skewness and kurtosis coefficients.

During World War II Pearson went on to work on statistical methods in quality control, along with a new discipline of operations research. He was a founding member of the British Operational Research Club in 1948. After this he wanted to fulfill a promise to his father. That promise was to make an annotated version of his fatherís lecture notes. Egon Pearson made many progressions in modern day statistics, but his greatest work was as a teacher.



Encyclopedia of Statistical Science, Vol. 6, John Wiley & Sons, 1985. Pp. 650-653.