1st Edition

# The History of Correlation

By John Nicholas Zorich Copyright 2025
376 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
by Chapman & Hall

376 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
by Chapman & Hall

After 30 years of research, the author of this book organized his notes into a draft book during the lockdown months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Getting it into shape for publication took another few years. It was a labor of love.

Readers will enjoy learning in detail how correlation evolved from a completely non-mathematical concept to one today that is virtually always viewed mathematically. The History of Correlation reports in detail on 19th and 20th century English-language publications; it discusses the good and bad of many dozens of 20th-century articles and statistics textbooks in regard to their presentation and explanation of correlation. A final chapter discusses 21st-century trends.

Some topics included here have never been discussed in depth by any historian. For example: Was Francis Galton lying in the first sentence in his first paper about correlation? Why did he choose the word "co-relation" rather than "correlation" for his new coefficient? How accurate is the account of the history of correlation that is found in H. Walker's 1929 classic book on The History of Statistical Method? Have 20th-century textbooks mislead students as to how to use the correlation coefficient?

Key features of this book:

· Charts, tables, and quotations (or summaries of them) are provided from about 450 publications.

· In-depth analyses of those charts, tables, and quotations.

· Correlation-related claims by a few noted historians are shown to be in error.

· Many funny findings from 30 years of research are highlighted.

This book is an enjoyable read that is both serious and (occasionally) humorous. It is aimed at not only historians of mathematics but also professors and students of statistics and anyone who has enjoyed books such as Beckmann's A History of Pi or Stigler's The History of Statistics.

Chapter 1. Essential Terms, Definitions, and Background Information

Chapter 2. Pre-1888 Authors, other than Francis Galton

Chapter 3. Francis Galton, before December 1888

Chapter 4. Francis Galton, December 1888

Chapter 5. Francis Galton, after December 1888

Chapter 6. 1889 to 1900

Chapter 7. 1900 to 1930

Chapter 8. 1930 to 2000

Chapter 9. 21st Century and Beyond

### Biography

John Nicholas Zorich has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in botany from the University of California. He has worked in the biotechnology industry since 1979, in QA/QC, Mfg. and R&D. For the past 25 years, he has worked as a statistical consultant to that industry. His consulting clients have included several large multi-national biotechnology companies as well as many Silicon Valley startups. He designs statistical application software programs that have been purchased by more than 140 companies, world-wide. For almost 20 years, he has been the in-house subject-matter expert in statistics for one of the EU medical-device Notified Bodies. For 20 years, he's been an instructor in applied industrial statistics for the Biotechnology Center of Ohlone College and is an annual guest lecturer in applied statistics in the Graduate Department of Biomedical Engineering at San Jose State University. In recent years, he's published three papers on aspects of teaching statistics, and published one paper on how to extend the shelf-life of pharmaceuticals simply by improving the statistical method of calculation. The research for this book on correlation has been an ongoing passion of his for the past 30 years. He lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife Sylvia. When not involved in statistical pursuits, he enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling.