Edwin Bidwell Wilson | |
---|---|

Born | April 25, 1879 |

Died | December 28, 1964 | (aged 85)

Nationality | American |

Alma mater | Yale University Harvard College |

Scientific career | |

Fields | Mathematics |

Institutions | Massachusetts Institute of Technology |

Doctoral advisor | Josiah Willard Gibbs |

Doctoral students | Jane Worcester |

**Edwin Bidwell Wilson** (April 25, 1879 – December 28, 1964) was an American mathematician and polymath.^{[1]} He was the sole protégé of Yale's physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs and was mentor to MIT economist Paul Samuelson.^{[2]}

## Life

Wilson received his AB from Harvard College in 1899 and his PhD from Yale University in 1901, working under Gibbs.

E.B. Wilson compiled the textbook *Vector Analysis*, based on Gibbs' lectures, as Gibbs was at the time busy preparing his book on thermodynamics.
^{[3]}

Wilson gave a plenary address at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1904 in Heidelberg^{[4]} and in 1924 in Toronto.

In 1924 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.^{[5]}

In Wilson (1927) he introduced the Wilson score interval, a binomial proportion confidence interval, and also derived the "plus four rule", which uses a pseudocount of two (add two to both your count of successes and failures, so four total) for estimating the probability of a Bernoulli variable with a confidence interval of two standard deviations in each direction (approximately 95% coverage).^{[6]}

## Works

- 1901: Vector Analysis
- 1904: "The Foundations of Mathematics", Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 11(2):74–93, a review of
*The Principles of Mathematics*by Bertrand Russell - 1912: (with Gilbert N. Lewis) "The Space-time Manifold of Relativity. The Non-Euclidean Geometry of Mechanics and Electromagnetics",
*Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences*48:387–507^{[7]} - 1912: Advanced Calculus via Internet Archive
- 1920: Aeronautics: A Class Text, John Wiley & Sons, link from Internet Archive
- Wilson, E. B. (1927). "Probable inference, the law of succession, and statistical inference".
*Journal of the American Statistical Association*.**22**: 209–212. doi:10.1080/01621459.1927.10502953. JSTOR 2276774.

## See also

## Notes

**^**"Obituary: Edwin B. Wilson".*Physics Today*.**18**(6): 88. June 1965. doi:10.1063/1.3047526. Archived from the original on 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-21.**^**How I Became an Economist by Paul A. Samuelson, 1970 Laureate in Economics, 5 September 2003**^**E.B. Wilson (1902) Vector Analysis: A Text-book for the Use of Students of Mathematics and Physics, based upon the lectures of Willard Gibbs**^**"*Products in Additive Fields*von E. B. Wilson aus New Haven".*Verhandlungen des dritten Internationalen Mathematiker-Kongress, Heidelberg, 1904*. Leipzig: Teubner. 1905.**^**List of ASA Fellows, retrieved 2016-07-16.**^**Moore, David; et al.*Introduction to the Practice of Statistics*. Macmillan Learning. p. 478. ISBN 9781319013387.**^**J. B. Shaw (1913) The Wilson-Lewis Algebra of Four-dimensional Space,*Bulletin of the Quaternion Society via HathiTrust*

## References

- Jerome Hunsaker and Saunders MacLane (1973)
*Biographical Memoirs*v. 43, pp. 285–320, National Academy of Sciences of USA. - O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Edwin Bidwell Wilson",
*MacTutor History of Mathematics archive*, University of St Andrews. - Edwin Bidwell Wilson at the Mathematics Genealogy Project