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Activity Number: 253 - Reprise of ASA’s 2021 Statistical Computing and Graphics Award
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 9, 2022 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Graphics
Abstract #319192
Title: Wainer's Wabbits and Other Tales
Author(s): David Thissen*
Companies: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Keywords: graphics; glyphs; history

In this presentation I recount a few tales of statistical graphics from fifty years of mentorship by and collaboration with Howard Wainer, the recipient of the 2021 Statistical Computing and Graphics Award. My story begins around the time Wainer first bumped his head on a histogram suspended from the Gaussian ceiling of John Tukey's mythical tool shed. It tracks his experimentally-based critiques of some graphical techniques that may have been more colorful than useful. It continues through our review of the explosion of graphical statistical methods that followed the shift of statistical graphics from artists to computer software and hardware in the 1970s. Wainer's Wabbits will again see the light of day. Additional tales involve Wainer's research into the early history of statistical graphics as well as his more recent decades of popularization of sophisticated graphical techniques in his columns for Chance magazine, and his books.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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