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About Karl Pearson

About Karl Pearson

  • Karl Pearson a British mathematician and Biostastician establishing the discipline of Statistics.
  • Founder of world’s first University Statistics department in University College London in 1911.
  • He was the protégé and biographer of Sir Francis Galton.
  • He was also the proponent of Social Darwinism and Eugenics inspired and influenced by his mentor Sir Galton.
Our Logo Explanation
Inspired by the contributions of Karl Pearson and his words:

“When every fact, every present or past phenomenon of that universe, every phase of life therein has been examined, classified and coordinated with the rest, then the mission of science will be completed. What is this but saying that the task of science can never end till man ceases to be, till history is no longer made and development itself ceases?”

  • The infinity in our logo signifies the never ending idea of the universe with Karl Pearson’s philosophy as our core, incorporating and representing the KPI.
  • Kappa is related to the first order functions, connectivity in relation to the graph and to denote the decimal, entity as such.
  • The utility of the kappa varies in accordance with its type of application.
  • Rho for the iconic representation of the Pearson correlation coefficient for population, which tells about relationship between two variables and comprising values between -1 to +1. Tau is used to signify life also denoting the works of Karl Pearson in the fields of Biometrics and Eugenics explaining the contribution of Mathematics to the Theory of Evolution. Also these Kappa, Rho and Tau are used to symbolize the acronym of Karl Pearson Institute – KPI.
Contributions to Statistics
  • First Introduction of Histogram
  • Foundations of Statistical Hypothesis Testing theory
  • P value (Level of Significance or Probability value)
  • Pearson’s Chi squared test
  • Correlation coefficient: R = -1 to +1
  • Method of Moments as Descriptive Statistics
  • Pearson’s System of Continuous Curves
  • Chi distance
  • Principal Component Analysis
Einstein and Pearson’s Work
  • When the 23-year-old Albert Einstein started the Olympia Academy study group in 1902, with his two younger friends, Maurice Solovine and Conrad Habicht, his first reading suggestion was Pearson's The Grammar of Science.
  • This book covered several themes that were later to become part of the theories of Einstein and other scientists. Pearson asserted that the laws of nature are relative to the perceptive ability of the observer. Irreversibility of natural processes, he claimed, is a purely relative conception.
  • An observer who travels at the exact velocity of light would see an eternal now, or an absence of motion. He speculated that an observer who travelled faster than light would see time reversal, similar to a cinema film being run backwards.
  • Pearson also discussed antimatter, the fourth dimension, and wrinkles in time.
  • Pearson's relativity was based on idealism, in the sense of ideas or pictures in a mind.
  • "There are many signs," he wrote, "that a sound idealism is surely replacing, as a basis for natural philosophy, the crude materialism of the older physicists." (Preface to 2nd Ed., The Grammar of Science) Further, he stated, "...science is in reality a classification and analysis of the contents of the mind..." "In truth, the field of science is much more consciousness than an external world." (Ibid., Ch. II, § 6) "Law in the scientific sense is thus essentially a product of the human mind and has no meaning apart from man."
Contributions to Biometrics
  • Karl Pearson was important in the founding of the school of biometrics, which was a competing theory to describe evolution and population inheritance at the turn of the 20th century.
  • His series of eighteen papers, "Mathematical Contributions to the Theory of Evolution" established him as the founder of the biometrical school for inheritance.
  • In fact, Pearson devoted much time during 1893 to 1904 to developing statistical techniques for biometry. 
  • These techniques, which are widely used today for statistical analysis, include the chi-squared test, standard deviation, and correlation and regression coefficients.
  • Pearson's Law of Ancestral Heredity stated that germ plasm consisted of heritable elements inherited from the parents as well as from more distant ancestors, the proportion of which varied for different traits. 
  • Karl Pearson was a follower of Galton, and although the two differed in some respects, Pearson used a substantial amount of Francis Galton's statistical concepts in his formulation of the biometrical school for inheritance, such as the law of regression.