# John Tukey (1915–2000)

Known for

- FFT (Fast Fourier Transform)
- the now ubiquitous box plot
- etc.

After WW2, worked at AT&T Bell Labs. Invented the term "bit" in 1947, a term first used in Claude Shannon's 1948 paper. May also have coined the word "software".

In analysis of variance, we use Tukey's HSD.

Physicists are among the smartest high IQ people, there is no doubt. If you want a single case example take Richard Feynman. If we could have lured him to psychology an important concept probably would have been published 35 years earlier.

In 1939 Feynman as a graduate student at Princeton experimented just for fun together with his friend John Tukey (who later became the famous statistician) to assess the ability of measuring time by counting.(Gleick,1992) They run stairs up and down to accelerate their heartbeats and trained themselves at the same time to count seconds and steps. Feynman’s performance deteriorated when he talked but not when he read. Tukey instead performed well when he recited poems aloud and worse when he read. So both have detected what is now known as the two slave systems of working memory, namely the phonological loop and the visuo-spatial sketchpad. Now you get a feeling how much more psychology would have been advanced if brains like theirs had been invested in my discipline at that time.

Tukey handled predicting the 1962 US elections, and didn't tell anyone he used approximate Bayesian methods. This was one of the earliest practical uses of Bayes, otherwise too calculation-heavy.