Timothy Patrick McMahon

Yes, THAT Timothy Patrick McMahon!

Wiki-Person of the Day: William Sealy Gosset

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Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. Two sick kids at home- Not fun.

Anyway, today I’ve selected William Sealy Gosset.

Wiliam Sealy Gosset

Wiliam Sealy Gosset

Why? Well, let me tell you a tale…

During my first trip to Madrid, I discovered a pretty nice fake-Irish pub (can’t remember name, I’ll have to pull out my photo album later and find the pictures I took when I was there). I say “fake”, because it was one of these “pubs in a box” that bar owners can buy from Guinness. Not quite a franchise, but, Guinness will, for a fee, come an outfit, decorate and stock your pub, with everything from the bar itself to tall the nick-knacks on the walls.

Anyway, in the middle of old Madrid, there was this stereotypical Irish pub straight from County Kilkenny. This place became my oasis for a few weeks; my traveling companions at the time were into going to dance clubs and other loud, youthful places at night. Not my cup of tea. So, I kept going back to this pub.

I managed to befriend one of the co-owners, a guy from Dublin. He was an amateur historian as well as a publican.  Over many pints, he gave me a full history of Guinness.  One of the things he told me was that was mathematics that made Guinness so good.  This came up at the end of a long night, and I never really understood it.  His explanation was a bit… well, like I said, I never understood it.

Anyway, I recently stumbled upon the bio of Mr. William Sealy Gossett.  I still can’t say I completely understand his work, but if a statistician can be the Head Brewer at St. James Gate, then I will have to agree with the statement that is is mathematics that makes Guinness so good!

Enjoy these Wiki-Links: William Sealy Gosset, Student’s t-distribution, Studentized residual, Guinness, St. James Gate, Madrid, County Kilkenny, Dublin, Irish Expats

Written by Timothy Patrick McMahon

December 15, 2010 at 11:30 am

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