George Box and the design of experiments: Statistics and discovery

David M. Steinberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


George Box was fascinated with how we make discoveries. His path-breaking contributions to experimental design made statistics an active partner in the process of discovery. Box introduced us to response surface methods, evolutionary operation, resolution and rotatability, projective properties and design robustness. He developed popular experimental plans like the central composite and Box-Behnken designs. He explored the consequences of imperfect models and derived D-optimal designs for experiments to estimate mechanistic models. Box's ideas grew from close collaborations with scientists and engineers and have been applied successfully in a wide range of disciplines. He has left an indelible stamp on the field of experimental design and on the practice of scientific investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Stochastic Models in Business and Industry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Box-Behnken design
  • central composite design
  • evolutionary operation
  • factorial design
  • iterative learning
  • resolution
  • response surface methods


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