Ronald Fisher

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Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher FRS (17 February 1890 – 29 July 1962) was an English statistician, evolutionary biologist, eugenicist and geneticist. He was described by Anders Hald as "a genius who almost single-handedly created the foundations for modern statistical science,"[1] and Richard Dawkins described him as "the greatest of Darwin's successors".[2]



Early life

Fisher was born in East Finchley in London, England, to George and Katie Fisher. His father was a successful fine arts dealer. He had a happy childhood, being doted on by three older sisters, an older brother, and his mother, who died when Fisher was 14. His father lost his business in several ill-considered transactions only 18 months later.[3]

Although Fisher had very poor eyesight he was a precocious student, winning the Neeld Medal (a competitive essay in Mathematics) at Harrow School at the age of 16. Because of his poor eyesight, he was tutored in mathematics without the aid of paper and pen, which developed his ability to visualize problems in geometrical terms, as opposed to using algebraic manipulations. He was legendary in being able to produce mathematical results without setting down the intermediate steps. He also developed a strong interest in biology, and, especially, evolution.

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