John Wishart (statistician)

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John Wishart
Born (1898-11-28)28 November 1898
Perth, Scotland
Died 14 July 1956(1956-07-14) (aged 57)
Acapulco, Mexico
Citizenship United Kingdom
Nationality Scottish
Institutions Rothamsted Experimental Station
University of Cambridge
Alma mater Edinburgh University
Cambridge University
University College London
Doctoral advisor Karl Pearson
Doctoral students M. S. Bartlett

John Wishart FRSE (28 November 1898 – 14 July 1956) was a Scottish mathematician and agricultural statistician.

He worked successively at University College London with Karl Pearson, at Rothamsted Experimental Station with Ronald Fisher, and then as a leader in statistics in the University of Cambridge where he became the first Director of the Statistical Laboratory in 1953. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1931,[1] and edited Biometrika from 1937. The Wishart distribution is named after him.

Wishart died at age 57 in a bathing accident in Acapulco while representing the Food and Agriculture Organization on a mission to set up a research centre.


  1. Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 5 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>