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Anderson Gray McKendrick
Anderson Gray McKendrick (September 8, 1876 - May 30, 1943) Scottish physician and epidemiologist pioneered the use of mathematical methods in epidemiology.
McKendrick was born in Edinburgh the fifth and last child of John Gray McKendrick FRS, a distinguished physiologist. The son trained as a doctor at the University of Glasgow and joined the Indian Medical Service. He worked with Ronald Ross and eventually would continue his work on mathematical epidemiology. His primary interest was in research and he became director of the Pasteur Institute at Kausali in the Punjab. He was invalided home to Britain in 1920 and settled in Edinburgh where he became Superintendant of the Laboratory of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He held this post for the rest of his life.
McKendrick's career as a mathematical epidemiologist began in India. In 1914 he published a paper in which he gave equations for the pure birth process and a particular birth-death process. After his return to Scotland he collaborated with W. O. Kermack on a notable series of papers. The first paper (1927) gave the differential equations for a deterministic general epidemic.
McKendrick's 1926 paper, 'Applications of mathematics to medical problems', achieved some belated prominence as the oldest reference in Dempster et al.'s 1977 paper that defined and popularized the EM algorithm (Expectation-maximization algorithm). William Feller Introduction to the Theory of Probability & its Applications (3rd edition p. 450) praises a 1925 paper, which applies stochastic models to epidemics and population growth, remarking "It is unfortunate that this remarkable paper passed practically unnoticed."
- W. O. Kermack; A. G. McKendrick “A Contribution to the Mathematical Theory of Epidemics,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Vol. 115, (1927),pp. 700-721.
- W. O. Kermack; A. G. McKendrick “Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Epidemics. II. The Problem of Endemicity,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Vol. 138, (1932) pp. 55-83.
- W. O. Kermack; A. G. McKendrick “Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Epidemics. III. Further Studies of the Problem of Endemicity,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Vol. 141, (1933),pp. 94-122.
- Gani, J. (2001) Anderson Gray McKendrick, Statisticians of the Centuries (ed. C. C. Heyde and E. Seneta) pp. 323-327. New York: Springer.
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