Single Factor Analysis of Variance
The basic principles of analysis of variance were developed by R.A. Fisher (later Sir Ronald Fisher), who is regarded by many as the greatest figure in the history of statistics. Fisher was possessed of amazing industry: he wrote seven very influential books and almost three hundred articles. Although his mathematical prowess was considerable, he was not particularly interested in mathematics for its own sake. His passion for practical problems led him in the 1920’s to accept a post as statistical adviser to the Rothamsted Experimental Station in Hertfordshire where scientifically conducted field trials of new fertilizers, crop varieties, and crop rotations were taking place. He at once set about inventing statistical procedures that could be used to analyse the mass of data accumulating from the field trials. Analysis of variance was only one of many new procedures that he introduced, but it is undoubtedly his chief memorial. Although analysis of variance has been extended and refined by later statisticians (and by Fisher’s associates) it is still recognisably the technique that Fisher invented.
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