Early Influences on Probability and Statistics in the Russian Empire
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Historiography of the development of probability and statistics in the Russian Empire focusses on the contributions of the central figure Pafnutiy Lvovich Chebyshev (1821–1894) and his successors. The purpose of this article is to concentrate on an earlier period which culminates with Chebyshev, and specifically on two less-than-well-explored aspects:
(1) The background and motivation for his activity in probability and statistics;
(2) The French connections and influences on his work.
The key figures in this account are A.F. Pavlovsky (1789–1875); M.V. Ostrogradsky (1801–1862); V.Y. Buniakovsky (1804–1889); N.D. Brashman (1796–1866); N.E. Zernov (1804–1862), S.G. Stroganov (1794–1882); P.S. de Laplace (1749–1827); A.L. Cauchy (1789–1857); I.J. Bienaymé (1796–1878); N.V. Khanykov (1819–1878); and, in Chebyshevs childhood, a governess and relation, Avdotiia Kvintillianovna Sukhareva. Chief among these, from the years of Chebyshevs maturity, are Buniakovsky and Bienaymé. The cultural contacts between France and the Russian Empire in the 19th century were strong, and these connections are particularly well-illustrated in this setting.
Keywords19th Century Early Period Central Figure Cultural Contact Early Influence
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