John W. Tukey

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Wilder Tukey (* 16th June 1915 in New Bedford , Massachusetts ; † 26. July 2000 in New Brunswick (New Jersey) ) was a US -American statisticians .


Tukey was tutored by his parents, both teachers, and studied math and chemistry at Brown University . He completed his master's degree in chemistry there and then went to Princeton University , where he received his doctorate in mathematics under Solomon Lefschetz in 1937 ( Denumerability in Topology , published in 1940 as Convergence and Uniformity in Topology in the Annals of Mathematical Studies of Princeton University Press) . He then was an instructor at Princeton University. During the Second World War he was engaged in military research at the Fire Control Research Group, where he carried out statistical work, which led to a change in his research area after the war. He went to the statistician Samuel Stanley Wilks at Princeton University, whom he had met while working in the Fire Control Research Group, and worked at the same time at Bell Laboratories . In 1966 he was one of the founders of the statistics faculty at Princeton and from 1966 to 1969 its chairman.

In 1961 he became a member of the National Academy of Sciences , in 1962 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society and in 1964 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . In 1973 he received the National Medal of Science from President Richard Nixon . In 1982 he received the IEEE Medal of Honor . He was a member of several US delegations, for example at the conferences on nuclear disarmament in Geneva and in UN committees on environmental protection. He was chairman of the PSAC Panel on Chemicals and Health , which dealt with the danger from CFCs ( ozone hole ).

In 1974 he was invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Vancouver (Mathematics and the picturing of data).


The term bit was proposed by Tukey probably in 1946, according to other sources as early as 1943. In addition, Tukey coined the term software in 1958 .

The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm is attributed to James Cooley and Tukey, who published it in 1965. There were several forerunners (such as Carl Friedrich Gauß , Irving John Good , Cornelius Lanczos ), but it was Cooley and Tukey's work that had a lasting scientific impact.

Tukey is considered the founder of exploratory data analysis ( exploratory statistics ) and is known for several methods of graphical data analysis in statistics ( box and whisker plot or box plot , stem and leaf diagram or stem-leaf diagram , Tukey's paired comparisons and others). He was also a pioneer in the introduction of modern mathematical methods for estimating the spectrum in time series analysis .

Together with Marshall Harvey Stone , he proved the Stone-Tukey theorem , also known as the ham sandwich theorem , as the following descriptive formulation can be mathematically formulated in any number of dimensions: It is always possible to finish a sandwich with any cheese and ham To divide a plane cut into two parts, each with the same amount (volume measure), bread, cheese, ham in each half (in n dimensions one takes in the formulation instead of three n quantities of finite measure, the subdivision takes place via an (n-1 ) -dimensional hyperplane).

See also: Lemma von Teichmüller-Tukey , rapid test according to Tukey


Articles, reports and books

  • MH Stone, JW Tukey: Generalized "sandwich" theorems. In: Duke Mathematical Journal. Vol. 9, 1942, pp. 356-359.
  • William Cochran, Frederick Mosteller , John W. Tukey: Statistical Problems of the Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Male: A Report of the American Statistical Association Committee to Advise the National Research Council Committee for Research in Problems of Sex. American Statistical Association, Washington 1954.
  • JW Tukey: The Teaching of Concrete Mathematics. In: The American Mathematical Monthly. Vol. 65, January 1958, pp. 1-9.
  • JW Tukey: The future of data analysis. In: Annals of Mathematical Statistics. Vol. 33, 1962, pp. 1-67.
  • RD Luce, JW Tukey: Simultaneous conjoint measurement . In: Journal of Mathematical Psychology. Vol. 1, 1964, pp. 1-27.
  • James W. Cooley, John W. Tukey: An algorithm for the machine calculation of complex Fourier series. In: Math. Computation. Vol. 19, 1965, pp. 297-301 (Fast Fourier Transform).
  • John W. Tukey: Exploratory data analysis . Addison-Wesley, 1977
  • F. Mosteller, JW Tukey: Data Analysis and Regression - a second course in statistics. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA 1977.

Collected Works

  • John W. Tukey: The collected works of John W. Tukey. (= The Wadsworth statistics / probability series ). Wadsworth advanced books and software, Belmont, CA.
    • 1. Time series: 1949-1964 / ed. By David R. Brillinger. - 1984. - LXV, 650: graph. Darst. ISBN 0-534-03303-2 .
    • 2. Time series: 1965-1984 / ed. By David R. Brillinger. - 1984. - LXVII S., ISBN 0-534-03304-0 , pp. 652-1153.
    • 3. Philosophy and principles of data analysis: 1949-1964 / ed. By Lyle V. Jones. - Repr. - 1996. - LXVIII, 516, ISBN 0-412-74250-0 .
    • 4. Philosophy and principles of data analysis: 1965-1986 / ed. By Lyle V. Jones. - 1986. - LXVIII S., ISBN 0-534-05101-4 , pp. 518-1016.
    • 5. Graphics: 1965-1985 / ed. By William S. Cleveland. - 1988. - LXIV, 436, ISBN 0-534-05102-2 .
    • 6. More mathematical: 1938-1984 / ed. By Colin L. Mallows. - Repr. - 1996. - LXXII, 644, ISBN 0-412-06271-2 .
    • 7. Factorial and ANOVA: 1949-1962 / ed. By DR Cox. - 1992. - LXV, 260, ISBN 0-412-06321-2 .
    • 8. Multiple comparisons: 1948–1983 / ed. By Henri I. Braun. - 1994. - LXI ISBN 0-412-05121-4 .

About John W. Tukey

Web links