Jean D. Gibbons

Jean Dickinson Gibbons (née Dickinson, born 1938)[1] is an American statistician, an expert in nonparametric statistics and an author of books on statistics.[2] She was the first chair of the Committee on Women in Statistics of the American Statistical Association,[3] and the Jean Dickinson Gibbons Graduate Program in Statistics at Virginia Tech is named for her.[2]


Despite her parents' expectations that she become a nurse or teacher, Gibbons graduated magna cum laude in mathematics in 1958 from Duke University, and continued at Duke for a master's degree,[2][3] with a master's thesis on Judgments Concerning Applications of Measures of Central Tendency.[4] She went on to do graduate study at Columbia University,[2] but completed her PhD in 1962 from Virginia Tech.[3] Her dissertation was The Small-Sample Power of some Nonparametric Tests.[5]

After teaching at Mercer University and the University of Cincinnati, she was hired by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. She followed her husband to the University of Alabama, where she remained despite separating from him and remarrying,[3] until her early retirement in 1995 at age 57.[2][3]


Gibbons is the author of ten books.[2][3] They include:

  • Nonparametric Statistical Inference (McGraw Hill, 1971; 2nd ed., Marcel Dekker, 1985; 4th ed. with Subhabrata Chakraborti, Marcel Dekker, 2003; 5th ed., CRC Press, 2010)[6]
  • Selecting and Ordering Populations: A New Statistical Methodology (with Ingram Olkin and Milton Sobel, Wiley, 1977; Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics and Cambridge University Press, 2008)[7]
  • Concepts of Nonparametric Theory (with John W Pratt, Springer, 1981)
  • Nonparametric Methods for Quantitative Analysis (American Sciences Press, 1976; 2nd ed., 1985; 3rd ed., 1997)[8]
  • Rank Correlation Methods (5th ed., with Maurice Kendall, Edward Arnold, 1990, update of a book originally published by Kendall alone in 1948)[9]
  • Nonparametric Statistics: An introduction (Sage, 1993)
  • Nonparametric Measures of Association (Sage, 1993)[10]

Awards and honors

Gibbons became a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1972,[11] becoming "probably the youngest female ever elected as a fellow".[3]

In 2015, the graduate program in statistics at Virginia Tech was named in her honor.[2]


  1. Birthdate from Worldcat
  2. McCallum, Annie (May 20, 2015), "Virginia Tech names statistics graduate program for alumna Jean Dickinson Gibbons", Virginia Tech News, retrieved 2017-10-22
  3. "Merit Matters Most: Meet Jean D. Gibbons", A Statistician's Life, Amstat News, American Statistical Association, July 1, 2014, retrieved 2017-10-22
  4. Reference Department, Perkins Library, Duke University (1997), A preliminary list of masters theses and doctoral dissertations accepted at Duke University through, p. 309CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. "Ph.D. Degrees Awarded from VPI and SU (from "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University during the first fifty years: 1949–1999")", IMS Bulletin, July–August 1999
  6. Reviews of Nonparametric Statistical Inference: Gottfried E. Noether (April 1972), SIAM Review 14 (2): 346–348, JSTOR 2028522; J. Klotz (December 1972), Biometrics 28 (4): 1148–1149, doi:10.2307/2528658; William D. Johnson (May 1973), Technometrics 15 (2): 421, doi:10.2307/1267003; Eric Ziegel (November 1988), Technometrics 30 (4): 457, doi:10.2307/1269817; Editor (September 2011), Biometrics 67 (3): 1183, JSTOR 41242576.
  7. Reviews of Selecting and Ordering Populations: A New Statistical Methodology: Edward J. Dudewicz (1979), Technometrics 21 (4): 582–583, doi:10.1080/00401706.1979.10489832, JSTOR 1268301; Shanti S. Gupta (July 1982), SIAM Review 24 (3): 2, doi:10.1137/1024078.
  8. Reviews of Nonparametric Methods for Quantitative Analysis: G. Enderlein (1985), Biometrical Journal 27 (5): 490, doi:10.1002/bimj.4710270503; D. Rasch (1986), Biometrical Journal 28 (7): 782, doi:10.1002/bimj.4710280703; Ronald L. Iman (1986), Technometrics 28 (3): 275–277, doi:10.1080/00401706.1986.10488137; Jessica Utts (1987), Journal of the American Statistical Association 82 (397): 364–367, doi:10.1080/01621459.1987.10478437; G. Trenkler (1997), Biometrical Journal 39 (7): 830, doi:10.1002/bimj.4710390710; Roman Mureika (February–May 1998), INFOR 36 (1/2): 61–63, ; David J. Groggel (1999), Technometrics 41 (1): 75, doi:10.1080/00401706.1999.10485601, JSTOR i254376.
  9. Reviews of Rank Correlation Methods (5th ed.): Z. Govindarajulu (1992), Technometrics 34 (1): 108, doi:10.1080/00401706.1992.10485252; John I. Marden (1992), Journal of the American Statistical Association 87 (417): 249, JSTOR 2290477.
  10. Review of Nonparametric Measures of Association: Marvin J. Podgor (1994), Journal of the American Statistical Association 89 (426): 719, doi:10.2307/2290888.
  11. Fellows list, American Statistical Association, retrieved 2017-10-22
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