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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > William Gemmell Cochran Quotes

William Gemmell Cochran
(15 Jul 1909 - 29 Mar 1980)

Scottish mathematician and statistician.


Science Quotes by William Gemmell Cochran (1 quote)

In 1905, a physicist measuring the thermal conductivity of copper would have faced, unknowingly, a very small systematic error due to the heating of his equipment and sample by the absorption of cosmic rays, then unknown to physics. In early 1946, an opinion poller, studying Japanese opinion as to who won the war, would have faced a very small systematic error due to the neglect of the 17 Japanese holdouts, who were discovered later north of Saipan. These cases are entirely parallel. Social, biological and physical scientists all need to remember that they have the same problems, the main difference being the decimal place in which they appear.
— William Gemmell Cochran
In William G. Cochran, Frederick Mosteller and John W. Tukey, 'Principles of Sampling', Journal of the American Statistical Society, 1954, 49, 31. Collected in Selected Papers of Frederick Mosteller (2006), 290.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (152)  |  Measurement (112)


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