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On the Street Where You Live

1 August 2014 No Comment
Ingram Olkin


On a recent trip to Chapel Hill, I was pleased to see two street signs of famous statisticians: Hotelling Court and Deming Road.

Harold Hotelling was the founding chair of the department of mathematical statistics at Stanford in 1946. He was the originator of principal components analysis, canonical correlations, Hotelling’s T-square, and more. He also made significant contributions to economics. There are several available reviews of his contributions and of his life. Hotelling invited faculty and students once a month to his house to what became known as Hotelling’s Tea. The area where his house was located has now been redeveloped, but the new street is in the same location.

W. Edwards Deming was known for his work in sampling and his theories of total quality management. I am not sure why this street carries his name, because I don’t recall that he visited Chapel Hill during my years at UNC. However, it is still nice to have a street honoring a statistician. Deming wrote a number of books and his history is well documented.

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