I am currently working on projects related to the history of probability, statistics and actuarial science, as well as, more generally, the history of mathematics.
I have written a number of
papers related to probability in 18th century Britain that touch on
the lives and work of John Arbuthnot, Thomas Bayes,
Abraham De Moivre, Lord Philip Stanhope (2nd
Earl Stanhope and lead sponsor for Thomas Bayes for
membership in the Royal Society) and Charles Waldegrave
(of Waldegrave’s problem in probability). With this
cast of characters, and a host of others from 17th and 18th
The theory and practice of
the evaluation of life annuities in the first quarter of the 18th
century by Abraham De Moivre is an application of
probability theory that reverberated throughout the 18th century in
Various aspects of my work in the history of probability and statistics have drawn me into other historical topics in mathematics. My analysis of images in Pierre Rémond de Montmort’s Essay d’analyse sur les jeux de hazard and Abraham De Moivre’s The Doctrine of Chances has led me to examine more generally images in 18th century mathematical books. This work is being carried out jointly with Bill Acres of Huron University College. My work on Thomas Bayes has led to my joining a project called “The History of Dissenting Academies in the British Isles, 1660-1860”, headed by Professor Knud Haakonsen of the University of Sussex. My part in the project is to work on the mathematics curriculum in these academies.
I have combined my
statistical and historical interests in a project carried out jointly with Mike
Bauer in Computer Science at the
My work in history has been supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
I continue to do some work in statistical theory and methods. My interest here lies in the analysis of survey data and the analysis of data arising from organ transplants in human patients. Typically, I supervise graduate students in these areas of research.
My work in statistical theory and methods has been supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).