Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Q 4 If the normal distribution is referred to as the "Gaussian" in most parts of the world, what is it referred to as in France?

The Laplacian. Gauss used the distribution in around 1809 to analyze astronomical data, but Laplace used it to analyze error terms as early as 1783. The French, of course, have stuck to their champion.

Background trivia: In fact, the distribution was formulated by De Moivre in his 1756 edition of "The Doctrine of Chance".

Additional trivia: Well, what about the Laplacian density function. What do the French call that? The French call it the doubly exponential distribution - on the basis of having exponential fade-off on both sides of the distribution. Dont ask me what the French call e to the e to the something distributions !

[ Illustration of the Central Limit Theorem, March 22, 2005]

[ The Normal Distribution, March 22, 2005]