Day: May 17, 2021

Abraham De Moivre and the History of the Normal Curve

(Essay found in Nesselroade & Grimm, 2019; pgs. 135-136) The discovery of the normal curve is usually attributed to Abraham De Moivre (1667 – 1754); being traced to a publication of his from 1733 (De Moivre, 1738; English Translation). He was a friend of people like Edmond Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame) and Sir Isaac Newton and was held in high esteem by the intellectual class of his time. Apparently, Newton occasionally replied to questions with, “Ask Mr. De Moivre, he knows all that better than I do” (Walker, 1934, p. 322). De Moivre’s discovery grew out of his interest

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