Professor Offers New Perspective on Statistical Theory in Book

April 13, 2010 Winkler Book Cover

Interpreting Economic and Social Data Challenges Preconceptions About Statistics

Washington, D.C. – Othmar W. Winkler, professor emeritus at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, is the author of the newly released textbook Interpreting Economic and Social Data: A Foundation of Descriptive Statistics.

The result of six decades of teaching, consulting, and involvement in statistical surveys, the book aims to bridge the gap between today’s statistical theory and economic and mathematical models of society. Winkler challenges many preconceptions about aggregation, time series, index numbers, frequency distributions, regression analysis, and probability, nudging statistical theory in a different direction. Interpreting Social and Economic Data also links statistics with other quantitative fields like accounting and geography, and is intended for use by students and professors in business, economics, and social science courses, as well as general users of socio-economic data. The book was published by Springer.

In a recent book review, Walter Krämer of Germany’s Duisburg Technical University, wrote: “There is rather little abstract mathematics and a lot of common sense, of digging deep into the nature of the phenomenon under study and of trying hard to understand what things are really all about. Most of what is covered in this book is either taken for granted or not discussed at all in standard textbooks on business, economic or social statistics, not to mention mathematical statistics.”

Winkler is an expert in the areas of business and economic statistics. Since 1948, he has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics applied to management, economics, accounting, finance, prices and production, operations research, and other quantitative courses. His research interests into the foundation of socio-economic statistics originated in the discrepancy he discovered between the theory of statistics and the practical application when he participated in surveys and as a consultant in sex-discrimination law suits. This experience resulted in 64 published papers and his recent book.

He is a member of the International Statistical Institute, the American Statistical Association, the Inter-American Statistical Institute, the International Association of Survey Statisticians, and the Washington Statistical Society. He holds a doctorate in economics and economic statistics from Universitdt Wien in Austria.

About Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is a premier business school located at the center of world politics and business in Washington, D.C. Some 1,400 undergraduates, 1,000 MBA students, and 500 participants in executive education programs study business with an intensive focus on leadership and a global perspective. Founded in 1957, the business school today resides in the new Rafik B. Hariri Building, a state-of-the-art facility that blends the tradition of Georgetown University with forward-thinking functionality. For more information about Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, visit