STATISTICIAN’S VIEW
Dear Editor,
STATISTICIAN’S The article by Todd G. Remund in the
VIEW
December 2008 issue of Amstat News, titled
“Aerospace Industry Holds Rich Opportunities for
MS Statisticians” was very nostalgic. A little over
Statistician’s View is a place for members
50 years ago, I was doing much the same thing for
to express viewpoints about ASA issues and
the Hercules Powder Company at Radford Arsenal
important topics in statistics. If you have an
while I was getting my PhD at Virginia Tech. Those
opinion you would like to present or you
were exciting times. It was during the Cold War, and
want to respond to something you have
one Monday morning when we came to work, the
read in this or other issues of Amstat News,
main subject of conversation was the first Sputnik,
please send your letter to: which had been launched over the weekend.
Managing Editor—Amstat News
Radford was a production facility with a sample
drawn from each production lot to be subjected
American Statistical Association
to static testing. There were some differences. The
732 North Washington Street
motors we worked with (i.e., Army missiles such
Alexandria, VA 22314-1943
as the Nike booster, Honest John, and Little John)
or were miniscule compared to the one pictured in his
amstat@amstat.org
article. The analyses of the results were ground out
on Monroematic calculators.
Please indicate that you would like
your letter to appear in Statistician’s View.
My principal assignment was to develop a
Amstat News reserves the right to use,
method of partitioning the variability of these
refuse, and edit any submission. We will not
results into that due to the product and that due to
testing and measurement. Another assignment led
accept anonymous material.
to the genesis of my dissertation topic on sequential
multivariate analysis.
As with Mr. Remund, our assignments some-
times required the use of mathematics. After the
Correction:
motors were filled with solid propellant, they were
The description on Page 19 in the February
incubated at one of two different temperatures,
Amstat News article ”Numbers in Everyday Life:
-10°F and +130°F, but after they were taken out to
A Short Course for Adults” was incomplete.
the test site, the elapsed time before ignition and
The correct information follows:
the ambient temperature also became factors. My
assignment was to estimate the temperature of the
Gerry Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy are
propellant at the time of ignition. This involved the
(retired) manager-applied statistics and
solution of a heat-flow equation with the evaluation
principal technologist-statistician, respectively,
of some Bessel functions.
at the GE Global Research Center. Ricki
Mr. Remund appears to be enjoying himself.
Lewis is a geneticist and science writer. Jane
So did I.
Oppenlander and Professor Emeritus Josef
Schmee are associated with Union College.
J. Edward Jackson
We thank Jim Comly for inviting us, on behalf
Rochester, New York
of UCALL, to teach this course, for serving
as course coordinator, and for many useful
inputs. We also thank Valerie D’Amario and
Nancy Mancini for their valuable support.
Make the most of your ASA membership
Visit the ASA Members Only site: www.amstat.org/membersonly
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MARCH 2009 AMSTAT NEWS 29
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