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International Women’s Day: Gertrude Cox – the first lady of statistics
March 8, 2013Posted by on
Happy international women’s day! If last week’s article proved anything, it’s that there are lot of extraordinary statisticians who also happen to be women out there (keep those names coming!). So what better way to celebrate today than with the first lady of statistics?
Gertrude Cox didn’t intend to become a statistician. After graduating from high school in 1918, she decided she wanted to be a deaconess in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thinking that some knowledge of psychology and craft could be useful in her chosen career, she enrolled at Iowa State University to study these subjects. However, she chose to major in mathematics as that subject had come natural to her in high school. In order to pay her college expenses, she landed a job in the computing lab of her calculus professor, George Snedecor. Encouraged by this experience, she went on to study statistics, receiving Iowa State’s first Master’s degree in statistics a couple of years later.
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