One of the most influential statisticians of the twentieth century, John Wilder Tukey (1915-2000) played a key role in both the development and study of statistics. Upon receiving his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1939 from Brown University, he joined the faculty at Princeton; in 1945, he also began work at Bell Laboratories. Equally committed to both Princeton and Bell Labs, Tukey chose to work concurrently at both institutions. He was also a consultant for many companies, such as Merck and Company, Xerox Corporation, and the Educational Testing Service, and was a frequent advisor to the government for such programs as the US Census. From 1960 to 1980 he led the statistical component of NBC's election night projections. Among other projects Tukey analyzed Alfred Kinsey's research and examined data on ozone depletion. Tukey made many important contributions to the field of statistics, such as work in time series analysis, exploratory data analysis, and multiple comparisons. Through his work, Tukey developed statistical applications including the Box-and-Whisker Plot, the Stem-and-Leaf Diagram, Cooley-Tukey Fast Fourier Transforms, Tukey's Paired Comparisons and citation and permutated indices. Tukey's influence extends beyond statistics to everyday language: he was the first to use the word "software" in print and coined words such as "bit" and "linear programming." A prolific writer, John W. Tukey penned more than 500 technical papers and reports and published, among numerous other works. His collected papers amount to eight volumes of work.
The Tukey Papers provides a comprehensive perspective into Tukey's professional activities from his days as a graduate student until his death in 2000. Among the material is his correspondence and his published and unpublished works. There is abundant material from Tukey's long careers at Bell Laboratories and Princeton University, including extensive lecture notes and syllabi. Also included are copious materials relating to his professional activities with such agencies as the National Research Council, the Army Records Office, Xerox PARC, Merck and Company, the President's Science Advisory Committee, and the National Academy of Sciences.