Cedric Austen Bardell Smith (February 5 1917, – January 16 2002) was a British statistician and geneticist. Born in Leicester, he was educated at Wyggeston Boys School and University College School, London. In 1935, having failed his Higher School Certificate, he was awarded an exhibition to Trinity College Cambridge. He graduated in the Mathematical Tripos, with a First in Part I and a Distinction in Part II. Following graduation he began postgraduate research, taking his Ph.D. in 1942.
While a student at Cambridge, Smith became close friends with three other mathematics students at Trinity College, R.L. Brooks, A.H. Stone and W.T. Tutte. Together they tackled a number of problems in the mathematical field of 'Combinatorics' and devised an imaginary mathematician, 'Blanche Descartes', under which name to publish their work. The group devised the 'squared square', a square that is divided into a number of smaller squares, no two of which are the same size. Publications under the name of 'Blanche Descartes' or 'F. de Carteblanche' continued to appear into the 1980s. The group also published more mainstream articles under their own names, the final one being R.L. Brooks, C.A.B. Smith, A.H. Stone and W.T. Tutte, 'Determinants and current flows in electric networks', Discrete Math., Vol. 100 (1992).
During the Second World War, as a Quaker, Smith joined the Friends Relief Service. He worked as a Porter at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Smith’s pacifist views saw him develop an interest in peace studies. Among other responsibilities for the Society of Friends, he was a member of the Quaker Peace Studies Trust which established the chair of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Smith was also a founder member (and Chairman) of the Conflict Research Society.
In 1946 he was appointed Assistant Lecturer at the Galton Laboratory at University College London. He remained at UCL for the rest of his career, becoming successively Lecturer and Reader, before appointment as Weldon Professor of Biometrics in 1964. On his arrival at UCL Smith was influenced by J.B.S. Haldane, who introduced him to problems of linkage in human genetics in which field he was able to bring his skills as a statistician to bear.
Smith was elected a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 1945. He was a member of the Genetical Society (serving as Treasurer), the Biometric Society (British Region), serving as President 1971-1972, and the International Statistical Institute. He died in 2002.
This refers to
- The Detection of Linkage in Human Genetics, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series B (Methodological), Vol. 15, No. 2. (1953), pp. 153-192.
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