Monday 8th February 2016 7:15 for 7:45

The Statistical Laboratory,
Centre for Mathematical Sciences,
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge, CB3 0WB

My Fisher: Memories of R.A.Fisher by his last student

Anthony Edwards
Gonville & Caius,
University of Cambridge

Abstract: R.A.Fisher (1890-1962) retired from the Arthur Balfour Professorship of Genetics in the University of Cambridge in September 1957. In his last year he only admitted a single student to the one-year course in the Department of Genetics: A.W.F.Edwards. Professor Edwards will recall the events of that year, how and why he was attracted to the possibility of studying under Fisher, and the contact he subsequently had with him. He will also outline the influence of Fisher’s work on his own interests, particularly in connection with statistical inference and evolutionary theory.

Speaker: Anthony retired as Professor of Biometry in 2003. His interest in Ars conjectandi stems from his writing of Pascal’s Arithmetical Triangle in 1979-81. A geneticist who was the last undergraduate taught by R.A.Fisher, he worked with L.L.Cavalli-Sforza in Italy for three years, establishing the field of the statistical estimation of evolutionary trees. Three years as a Senior Lecturer in D.J.Finney’s Department of Statistics in Aberdeen were followed by a Bye-Fellowship of Gonville and Caius College devoted to the writing of Likelihood (1972). From 1970 he held appointments in the Postgraduate Medical School and its successor, the Clinical School, becoming Reader in 1978 and Professor in 2000. Foundations of Mathematical Genetics appeared in 1977 and Cogwheels of the Mind, The Story of Venn Diagrams in 2004. Other books include Annotated Readings in the History of Statistics (2001) with H.A.David.

Directions: The main entrance is reached from Clarkson Road by going along the footpath to the right of the Newton Institute, and turning left through the gatehouse towards the main building (Pavilion A), which has a glass front and a curved grassed roof. The main entrance is in the middle of the glass front. Coffee before the talk will be in the common room in Pavilion D, and the talk will be in Meeting Room 4 in Pavilion A. Free parking is available after 5pm on Clarkson and Wilberforce Roads.

Provisional Next Meetings:

10th March – Katie Saunders (Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research) on ‘Measuring Ethnicity in the NHS’.

7th April – Ioanna Tachmazidou (Sanger Institute).

28th April –  Lisa Pennells (Department of Public Health and Primary Care).

11th October – Katrina Gore (Pfizer Neusentis).
21st November – Nick Galwey (GlaxoSmithKline<>) on 'Use of historical information to supplement a future study: opportunity and difficulty'.

Supper: Some members eat before a talk at the University Centre meeting in the Granta Lounge at 5-45pm. All welcome !
Subscriptions:  of  1 pound are now due for attending the 2015-2016 session.
Secretary: Peter Watson, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF;
telephone 01223 355294 Extension 801; E-mail [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

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