Memorial Resolution - George W. Snedecor
An international authority who was a pioneer in his field, George W.
Snedecor, passed away February 15 in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Dr. Snedecor was born October 2, l88l, in Memphis, Tennessee, and
received his education at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, the University
of Alabama and the University of Michigan. He joined the Iowa State faculty
as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1913; and remained for L5 years.
Shortly after his arrival at Iowa State, Dr. Snedecor took the lead in
helping people with problems in statistical applications. In I92L he participated in weekly sessions conducted by Henry A. Wallace, then editor of
Wallace's Farmer, demonstrating rapid machine calculation to solve basic
statistical needs, especially relating to agricultural research. Because
of his interest and enthusiasm, Dr. Snedecor continued statistical experimentation, and in 1927 he and Dr. A. E. Brandt were put in charge of a
Mathematics Statistical Service, established to supply the demand for
professional help in statistics.
Six years later the Statistical Laboratory was established as a research
institute under the president, with Dr. Snedecor as its first director. He
remained in the post until college regulations forced him to relinquish
administrative responsibilities in 19^-7 at the age of 65, continuing as a
professor of statistics on a part time basis until his retirement in 1958.
Dr. Snedecor is recognized throughout the world for his pioneer work in
the development and use of statistical methods, particularly in the field of
biological and agricultural experimentation. His book, Statistical Methods,
first published in 1937^ is now in its sixth edition and has been translated
into Spanish, Hindi, and Japanese. Dr. Snedecor authored three other books
and some 50 papers on statistics. He served as editor of the Queries section
of Biometrics from its inception in 19^-5 until 1958.
In 19^8 Dr. Snedecor was named president of the American Statistical
Association, the first person in the field of agricultural research ever to
head the association. His national and international reputation is indicated
by his election as an Honorary Fellow of the British Royal Statistical Society
and an Honorary Life Member of the International Biometric Society. He was
also elected to membership of the International Statistical Institute and was
a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He held memberships in the Iowa Academy of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi,
Gamma Alpha, Pi Mu Epsilon and Kappa Sigma.
In 195^ the George W. Snedecor Award, administered through the ISU
Alumni Achievement Fund, was set up in his honor by his colleagues, former
students, and friends. Later he himself contributed generously to the Award
which has enabled the Department of Statistics to accord appropriate recognition each year to its top Ph.D. student.
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