**Karl Pearson** (27 March 1857 – 27 April 1936) was an English mathematician and biostatistician. He founded the world’s first university statistics department at University College London in 1911. He was awarded the Darwin Medal in 1898 for his work on the “quantitative treatment of biological problems.”

Pearson’s thinking underpins many of the ‘classical’ statistical methods which are in common use today, such as:

- Correlation coefficient (r)
- Method of moments – descriptive statistics used for the fitting of distributions to samples
- p-value
- Pearson’s chi-squared test – a hypothesis test using normal approximation for discrete data
- Histogram

He was also responsible for many other foundations of statistical hypothesis testing theory and the statistical decision theory that eventually led to the development of concepts such as alpha type-I error probabilities.

In 1901, with Walter Frank Raphael Weldon and Francis Galton, he founded the journal Biometrika whose object was the development of statistical theory, and he edited this journal until his death.

Influences

Influenced

- Albert Einstein

Links

Books

- The Grammar of Science
- Groundwork of Eugenics
- Tables for statisticians and biometricians
- National Life from the Standpoint of Science