1 Oscar Sheynin History of Statistics Berlin, 2012 ISBN 978-3 ...

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1 Oscar Sheynin History of Statistics Berlin, 2012 ISBN 978-3 ...

13. Markov, Liapunov, NekrasovI consider here the work of three outstanding scholars. Markov completedthe proof of the CLT and opened up a new direction in probability.Liapunov proved the CLT by following latest mathematical developments.Nekrasov attacked the CLT purely analytically and was the first to considerthe CLT in case of large deviations but got entangled. Then, he hopelesslylinked probability with religion and shallow philosophy.Key words: CLT, case of large deviations, Markov chains13.1. Markov: Personal TraitsFor his biography see Markov Jr (1951), a noted mathematician in hisown right, and Grodzensky (1987). They describe his principled stand onburning social and political issues whereas Grodzensky also published manyof his pertinent newspaper letters, some of them for the first time;apparently, the newspapers did not always accept them. Markov struggledagainst anti-Semitism and denounced the Russian Orthodox Church, seealso Sheynin (1989, pp. 340 – 341; 2007b). The Press used to call himMilitant academician (Nekrasov 1916, p. 9) and Andrew the Furious(Neyman 1978).In 1901 Tolstoy was excommunicated from the Church. During his lastdays, the Most Holy Synod discussed whether he should be admitted to thebosom of the Church and decided against it (Anonymous 1910), so that in1912 Tolstoy’s excommunication was likely well remembered. Then, in1912 Markov submitted a request to the Synod for excommunicationmentioning his doubts about events allegedly having occurred in bygonetimes and adding that he did not sympathise with religions which, likeOrthodoxy, are supported by, and in turn lend their support to fire andsword. The Synod resolved that Markov had seceded from God’s church(Emeliakh 1954, pp. 400 – 401 and 408). In aletter of 1915 (Sheynin 1993a, p. 200) Markov maintained that graduates ofRussian Orthodox seminariesare getting accustomed […] to a special kind of reasoning. They mustsubordinate their minds to the indications of the Holy fathers and replacetheir minds by the texts from the Scripture.In 1921 (Grodzensky 1987, p. 137) 15 professors of the PetrogradUniversity declared that applicants ought to be chosen according to theirknowledge rather than to class or political considerations; Markov was thefirst to sign their unsuccessful statement.Markov’s attitude towards other scholars had often been wrong. Just oneexample,Andreev’s letter of 1915 to Nekrasov, see Sheynin (1994e, p. 132): MarkovRemains to this day an old and hardened sinner in provoking debate. Ihad understood this long ago, and I believe that the only way to save myselffrom the trouble of swallowing the provocateur’s bait is a refusal to respondto any of his attacks…128

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