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Michael Friendly

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Michael Friendly

Michael Lewis Friendly (born 1945) is an American psychologist, Professor of Psychology at York University in Ontario, Canada, and director of its Statistical Consulting Service, especially known for his contributions on the history of data and information visualisation.[1][2]


Born in [3][4]

Friendly's first research project in the field of psychometrics and cognitive psychology had started at the Educational Testing Service and Princeton University, and was made possible by a Psychometric Fellowship awarded by the Educational Testing Service. After graduation Friendly jointed the Department of Psychology at the York University in Ontario, Canada, where he continued his research. At the York University he was appointed Associate Professor and later on Professor of Psychology, and since 1985 also director of its Statistical Consulting Service.

Friendly is Associate Editor of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics and an Editor of Statistical Science.


Friendly's research interests have developed over years. It started in the 1970s with the application of quantitative and computer methods to problems in cognitive psychology, including the cognitive aspects of extracting information from graphical displays.[5] In the 1990s Friendly started focussing on the history of statistics and data visualization, and furthermore graphical methods for data and information visualization.[6]


Friendly is the author of four books and numerous research papers. Books:

  • 1988. Advanced Logo: A Language for Learning. Hillsdale, N.J. : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • 1991. SAS System for Statistical Graphics. Medium: Paperback.
  • 2000. Visualizing Categorical Data. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.
  • 2006. Visual statistics : seeing data with dynamic interactive graphics. With Forrest W. Young and Pedro M. Valero-Mora. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley-Interscience.

Articles, reports, papers. A selection:

  • 1991. "Interpreting higher order interactions in loglinear analysis: A picture is worth 1000 words". With John Fox. Tech. rep., Institute for Social Research, York University, Toronto, CA.
  • 1992. "Graphical methods for categorical data". In: Proceedings of the SAS User's Group International Conference, 17:1367-1373.
  • 1994. "A fourfold display for 2 by 2 by K tables". Tech. Rep. 217, York University, Psychology Dept.
  • 1994. "Mosaic displays for multi-way contingency tables". In: Journal of the American Statistical Association, 89:190-200.
  • 2000. "A brief history of the mosaic display." Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics. 11(1):89-107. URL
  • 2000. "The roots and branches of statistical graphics". With Dan Denis. In: Journal de la Société Française de Statistique, 141(4):51-60. (published in 2001).
  • 2007. "A brief history of data visualization". In: C. Chen, Wolfgang Härdle and Antony Unwin, eds., Handbook of Computational Statistics: Data Visualization, vol. III, chap. 1, pp. 1–34. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
  • 2007. "Visualizing nature and society". With Gilles Palsky. In: James R. Akerman and Robert W. Karrow, eds., Maps: Finding Our Place in the World, pp. 205–251. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • 2007. "HE plots for Multivariate General Linear Models." Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 16, 421-444.
  • 2008. "Milestones in the history of thematic cartography, statistical graphics, and data visualization".


  1. ^ Young, Forrest W., Pedro M. Valero-Mora, and Michael Friendly. Visual statistics: seeing data with dynamic interactive graphics. Vol. 914. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Daniel, and Anthony Grafton. Cartographies of time: A history of the timeline. Princeton Architectural Press, 2013.
  3. ^ Friendly, Michael L. "Proximity Analysis and the Structure of Organization in Free Recall." (1972).
  4. ^ Michael Friendly at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ SAS System for Statistical Graphics,First Edition, 1st edition ABSTRACT From the Publisher. Retrieved 07 July 2008.
  6. ^ Profiles of Faculty Members in the History and Theory of Psychology Area. Department of Psychology. York University. Retrieved 07 July 2008.

External links

  • Milestones in the History of Thematic Cartography, Statistical Graphics, and Data Visualization: An illustrated chronology of innovations by Michael Friendly and Daniel J. Denis.
  • The Past, Present and Future of Statistical Graphics a 2004 presentation by Michael Friendly on VIEWS, London, Nov, 2004.
  • Carme 2011 - Advances in visualizing categorical data - Michael Friendly a 2011 presentation by Michael Friendly at Carme 2011
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