William Sealy Gosset is better known as "Student
", the discoverer of the Student's t Distribution
in the field of statistics
Gossett was born on 13 June 1876 in Canterbury, England and studied chemistry and mathematics at New College Oxford. He was a student of Sir George B. Airy.
In 1899, Gosset was employed at the Guinness brewery in Dublin, where he was doing quality control in beer brewing using statistical methods (although he was never hired as a statistician). He invented the t-test for quality control using small sample sizes. While employed at Guinness, Gosset started publishing under the pseudonym "Student". There may be several reasons why Gosset did not publish using his own name; perhaps he wanted to protect his reputation, since he was publishing rather unconventional work in statistics. Perhaps he believed his work would not be published, since he was not an established statistician. The most plausible explanation however is that his employer Guinness wanted to keep a competitive edge, and did not allow Gosset to publish his work.
Even though Gosset was publishing under pseudonym, he collaborated with numerous well known statisticians, such as Ronald A. Fisher, Jerzy Neyman and Karl Pearson
Gosset died on 16 Oct 1937 in Beaconsfield, England.