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George Edward Pelham Box FRS (born 18 October 1919) is a statistician, who has made important contributions in the areas of quality control, time-series analysis, design of experiments, and Bayesian inference.

Box has written research papers and published books. These include Statistics for Experimenters (2nd ed., 2005), Time Series Analysis: Forecasting and Control (4th ed., 2008, with Gwilym Jenkins and Gregory C. Reinsel) and Bayesian inference in statistical analysis. (1973, with George C. Tiao). Today, his name is associated with important results in statistics such as Box–Jenkins models, Box–Cox transformations, Box–Behnken designs, and others.

Box famously wrote that "essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful" in his book on response surface methodology with Norman R. Draper.[1]

Biographical history

He was born in Gravesend, Kent, England and trained as a chemist. During World War II, he performed for the British Army experiments exposing small animals to poison gas. To analyze the results of his experiments, he taught himself statistics from available texts. After the war, he enrolled at University College London and obtained a bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics. He received a Ph.D. from the University of London in 1953, under the supervision of Egon Pearson.

From 1948 to 1956, Box worked as a statistician for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). While at ICI, he took a leave of absence for a year and served as a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Raleigh (now North Carolina State University). He later went to Princeton University where he served as Director of the Statistical Research Group.

In 1960, Box moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison to create the Department of Statistics. He was appointed Vilas Research Professor of Statistics (the highest honor accorded to any faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison) in 1980. Box and Bill Hunter co-founded the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1984. Box officially retired in 1992, becoming an Emeritus Professor.

Box married Joan Fisher, the second of Ronald Fisher's five daughters. In 1978, Joan Fisher Box published a biography of Ronald Fisher, with substantial collaboration of Box.[2]
Professional recognition: offices and awards

Box served as President of the American Statistical Association in 1978 and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 1979. He received the Shewhart Medal from the American Society for Quality Control in 1968, the Wilks Memorial Award from the American Statistical Association in 1972, the R. A. Fisher Lectureship in 1974, and the Guy Medal in Gold from the Royal Statistical Society in 1993. Box was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1974 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1979.
See also

Box–Muller transform
Box–Pierce test
Ljung–Box test

Response surface methodology
Central composite design

Notes

^ Box, George E. P.; Norman R. Draper (1987). Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces, p. 424, Wiley. ISBN 0-471-81033-9. (more details at wikiquote)
^ Box, Joan Fisher (1978) R. A. Fisher: The Life of a Scientist Preface, ISBN 0-471-09300-9

References

Morris H. DeGroot (August 1987). "A Conversation with George Box". Statistical Science 2 (3): 239–258. doi:10.1214/ss/1177013223. JSTOR 2245757.

External links

Box-Behnken designs from a handbook on engineering statistics at NIST
University of Wisconsin–Madison home page
ASQ: George E.P. Box Accomplishments in statistics
Articles and Reports by George Box
Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement
Interview for the International Journal of Forecasting
Royal Society citation
Statistics for Experimenters - Second Edition, 2005 by George Box, William G. Hunter and Stuart Hunter
Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (Several publications of George Box and his colleagues are available on the center's website.)

For Box's PhD students see

George E. P. Box at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
European Network Business and Industrial Statistics

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