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Trailblazing women in statistics

Alan Flurry

Women have been leaders in the field of statistics for decades, with contributions ranging from theoretical developments to applications in biology, climatology and medicine.

A recent paper by University of Georgia statistics professor Lynne Billard, “Women Trailblazers in the Statistical Profession,” provides a historical introduction to these remarkable scholars from around the globe.

Billard met or knew several of these extraordinary women.

Florence Nightingale

Born in Italy in 1820, Nightingale began her career as a nurse and played a major role in organizing the care of soldiers during the Crimean War. With her background in mathematics, Nightingale was able to demonstrate that fatalities associated with war wounds were considerably fewer than those from communicable diseases contracted from unsanitary conditions. The implementation of new sanitary practices led to a 40% decline in the mortality rate.


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