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Probability and statistics at the turn of 1900: hopes and disappointments. (English)
J. Électron. Hist. Probab. Stat. 5, No. 2, Article 4, 18 p. (2009).
The article focuses on a historical analysis of all articles connected to probability and statistics which appeared in the French partial translation of the huge German ‘Encyclopädie der mathematischen Wissenschaften, mit Einschluss ihrer Anwendungen’. The German original was planned and directed by Felix Klein (1849‒1925) in Göttingen and published between 1898‒1938. The translation and reworked publication in French was directed by Jules Molk (1857‒1914) and appeared between 1908 and 1916, the continuation of the project apparently being a victim of the war and of Molk’s demise. With one exception (the translation of P. and T. Ehrenfest’s article on statistical mechanics by E. Borel) Molk was not able to win leading experts for the translated and reworked articles which often contained lots of additional references. Armatte calls the article by J. Bauschinger on the theory of errors (in the translation by Henri Andoyer) ‘one of the best introduction to the field’. In general, however, he finds that given the many lacunae (little reference to the British biometrical school) and distortions the project did not ‘live up to its promises’. Reviewer’s remark: The article by Armatte is compromised by many typos which may be related to its character as an online publication.
Reviewer: Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze (Kristiansand)
Classification: A30 K10
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