Anthony J. Pennings, PhD


World Statistics Day

Posted on | October 20, 2010 | No Comments

“On this first World Statistics Day I encourage the international community to work with the United Nations to enable all countries to meet their statistical needs.”

Secretary-General of the United Nations
Message on World Statistics Day, 20-10-20

Our book Computerization and Development in Southeast Asia, while not specifically about statistics, pointed to the extensive use of this technology for statistical use. Computerization and Development in SE AsiaResearch into the first uses of computers in “developing” countries showed that they were used primarily in census and other population-oriented statistics. Thailand’s very first computers for example, were both second generation IBM 1401s (Second generation signifies the replacement of vacuum tubes with transistors), installed for the International Census Society Programme and the National Statistical Office in 1963. It followed up this project with a nationwide information system called the Population Registration and Information System Improvement Project to emend the registration of vital statistics and modernise the postal delivery system. Another project was intent on developing a personal identification system with identity numbers indicating a range of information from birth dates to fingerprints and occupation.

East-West Center in Honolulu

This study was conducted at the East-West Center in mid-1980s after Syed Rahim initiated a program on National Computerization Policies. Our book focused on the ASEAN countries and was published by AMIC, the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) in Singapore.

Recently I have been exploring the history of statistics and its role in the early development of information technologies with my work on the The Smith Effect II: From Political Arithmetik to “State-istics” to IT


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    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, digital economics, and strategic communications.

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