1993 AACC Lectureship Award
W. Edwards Deming will receive this year’s award,
sponsored by Miles Inc. Diagnostics Division.
W. Edwards Deming has been a consultant for 40 years, with practice
worldwide. His clients include railways, telephone companies, carriers of
motor freight, manufacturers, consumer research companies, census
methodologists, hospitals, legal firms, government agencies, and research
organizations in universities and in industry. All the intercity motor
freight in the US and Canada, for example, is studied by statistical
procedure prescribed and monitored by him. He is best known for his work
in Japan, which started in 1950 and created a revolution in quality and
In 1960, the Emperor of Japan decorated him with the Second Order Medal
of the Sacred Treasure. Japanese scholars created in his honor the annual
Deming Prize. In 1987, President Reagan awarded him the National Medal of
Since 1946, Deming has been Professor of Statistics at the Graduate
School of Business Administration of New York University. Since 1985, he
has also been Distinguished Lecturer in Management at Columbia University.
He is a member of the International Statistical Institute and many other
professional and scientific societies. In 1986, he was elected into the
National Academy of Engineering, and into the Science and Technology Hall
of Fame in Dayton, OH. In 1988, he received the Distinguished Career in
Science award from the National Academy of Sciences.
Deming was born in 1900, and received his doctorate in mathematical
physics from Yale University in 1928. He began work at the Agriculture
Department in 1928, where he became interested in quality control, editing
a series of lectures given by his colleague, Walter A. Shewhart. In 1939,
he joined the Census Bureau as head mathematician and statistician. There
he developed his fundamental concepts of quality control in both
manufacturing and nonmanufacturing environments; although he gave lectures
on quality control across the US, industrialists, he did not respond
effectively until the 1980s.
Deming first visited Japan in 1947, when he began to teach Japanese
managers and engineers the statistical theories and practices necessary to
successfully implement quality control. After the broadcast in 1980 of an
NBC White Paper entitled “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?”, in which Deming
was featured, the quality revolution began in US industry.
Today, Deming is honored worldwide as the “Father of the Third Wave of
the Industrial Revolution.” He is the recipient of numerous honorary
degrees and is the author of several books and 170 papers. Two of his
recent books are Out of the Crisis and The New Economics for
Management. He has also composed two masses and several canticles and