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George Michael Tallis (1931-2017)
Papers 1956-2009

MSS 0233

Biographical Note

George Michael Tallis was born in Melbourne on 10 August 1931.  After private tutoring in his early years, he entered Geelong Grammar School at the age of 12 to complete his schooling.  He graduated from Longerenong Agricultural College in 1953 with a Diploma and a BSc in Agriculture, before going to the USA to study Human Genetics at Ohio State University, graduating with a MSc (1956) and PhD (1957).  On his return to Australia, he joined Helen Newton Turner’s group in the CSIRO Division of Animal Genetics transferring to the CSIRO Division of Mathematical Statistics in 1961.  He undertook further (part-time) study at the University of New South Wales, graduating with a MSc in Mathematics in 1963, and a PhD in Statistics in 1965.  In 1964, he took leave to visit the Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University, returning to CSIRO in 1967.  In 1970, he left his position as Principal Research Scientist to take up a position as Reader and subsequently Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide. After retiring in 1992, he continued as an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow until 2000.  In 1976, he was awarded a DSc by the University of New South Wales in recognition of his research in Applied Statistics, Mathematical Statistics and Computer Modelling of Biological Systems, and his ability to identify suitable problems for research. After 2000, he continued a very active research program, much of it with his wife Joan, with whom he documented the Tallis family history.  He authored or co-authored 96 peer-reviewed articles and wrote 5 books, most notably The Silent Showman, which recounted the story of Mike’s grandfather, Sir George Tallis, founder of the world’s largest entertainment organisation in the 1920s, and of the first 50 years of Australia’s theatre company, J. C. Williamson Ltd.

Contents Listing

The following research papers were donated by Michael Tallis’ daughter, Lindy Tallis, in October 2017.  They are described below largely in the order in which they were received.

Biographical

The below three books have been catalogued for the Rare Books Collection.

‘In search of the sun: The first one hundred years of the Tallis family in Australia’, Joan Tallis, Sue Knight and Michael Tallis, Lutheran Publishing House, South Australia, 1988

‘The family of John and Sarah Tallis’, Joan and Michael Tallis, Investigator Press, South Australia, undated by c1990

‘The professional life of George Tallis 1886-1948: Articles taken from Australian and international newspapers and periodicals’, compiled by Joan and Michael Tallis, layout and design by Grove Graphics, 2007

 

Series 1: Research

1.1 Sampling (3 cm)

  • Drafts and final copy of ‘A note on balanced sampling and non-response”, Tallis, 1998
  • Drafts and final copy of ‘Comparative sampling: Two theories of sampling finite populations’, Tallis, all undated
  • Drafts and final copy of ‘A note on non-response in random finite population sampling, Tallis, undated but c1995
  • Research report 92/2 ‘A central limit theorem for finite populations’, Tallis, June 1992 (2 copies)
  • ‘An improved play-the-winner sampling procedure for selecting the better of two binomial populations’, E. Nordbrock, 1976 (photocopy)
  • ‘Play-the-winner sampling for selecting the better of two binomial populations, M. Sobel and G. H. Weiss, 1970 (photocopy)
  • ‘Optimal linear indexes for some selection problems’, David A. Harville and Thomas E. Reeves, Aerospace Research Laboratories report ARL 72-0123, U.S. Air Force, 1972

1.2 Misclassification/causes of death (1.5 cm)

  • Draft annotation portion and final copy of ‘Misclassification, correlation, and cause of death studies’, Tallis, 2002
  • ‘Comparing hospital discharge records with death certificates: Can the differences be explained?’, L. A. Johansson and R. Westerling, 2001
  • ‘Are causes of death predictable?’, Tallis, P. Leppard, G. A. Tallis, et al, 1998 (2 reprints), plus copies of two reviews of the article, submitted to Human Biology for publication, 1996
  • ‘Is length of life predictable?’, Tallis and P. Leppard, undated
  • ‘Inaccuracies of death certificate information’, D. Flanders, 1992
  • ‘Further comments on problems in death certification’, G. W. Comstock and R. E. Markush, 1986
  • ‘The effectiveness of air bags’, S Barry, S. Ginpil, T. J. O’Neill, 1999
  • Portion of printed notes ‘General discussion of multiple causes of death’, author unknown, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘2 causes of death…’, undated
  • Set of notes including screening data and draft, annotated copy of ‘Breast cancer third paper’, 2002 and handwritten notes on median survival, rationale and results of screening, all undated
  • Handwritten notes on medians, undated

1.3 Breast cancer screening (2.5 cm)

  • ‘A review of the technical features of breast cancer screening illustrated by a specific model using South Australian cancer registry data’, T. J. O’Neill and Tallis, undated.
  • ‘Screening for breast cancer’, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996
  • ‘A note on the sensitivities of self-reporting and screen detection of primary breast tumours’, Tallis, P. Leppard and T. J. O’Neill, 2003 (2 annotated copies)
  • ‘The South Australian breast x-ray service: Results from a statewide mammographic screening programme’, J. I. Robinson, C. E. B. Crane, J. M. King, et al, 1996
  • ‘Screening for breast cancer’, Tallis, T. J. O’Neill, P. Leppard, et al, 1980
  • Annotated portion of an article ‘Essential tumor distributions associated with screening’, author unknown, undated
  • Printed paper ‘The statistical modelling of cancer at the clinical level, Tallis(?), undated
  • Copies of brief communication and original article ‘Evaluation of the impact of breast cancer screening in South Australia, Tallis and T. J. O’Neill, 2009 and associated email correspondence

1.4 Risk factor vectors (0.8 cm)

  • Annotated drafts of ‘Percentile rankings for risk factor vectors’, Tallis, P Leppard and G. A. Tallis, undated
  • Draft article, ‘Percent ranking scales for assessment of multiple lipid risk factors’, Tallis, G. A. Tallis, P. Leppard and J. Bradley, undated
  • Editor’s letter (Statistics in Medicine), together with comments for the authors, rejecting ‘Standardised scales for multiple risk factors’ for publication, 1991

1.5 Genetics

Folder 1 (3 cm)

Book chapters from ‘Population genetics’, Tallis, undated

  • Chapter 0 – Difference equations
  • Chapter 1 – Random mating and equilibrium
  • Chapter 2 – The partitioning of genetic variance and the correlations between relatives under panmixia
  • Chapter 3 – Estimation
  • Chapter 4 – Gene mutation
  • Chapter 5 – Selection
  • Chapter 6 – Path Coefficients (3 differently annotated copies)
  • Chapter 7 – Joint effects of mutation, selection and migration
  • Chapter 8 – The use of stochastic matrices in the theory of inbreeding
  • Chapter 9 – The treatment of inbreeding by probability theory
  • Chapter 10 – Introduction to quantitative genetics
  • Chapter 11 – Artificial mass selection in animal breeding

Also includes chapters titled:

  • Chapter 0 – Biological background
  • Chapter 1 – Equilibria under random mating
  • Chapter 2 – Recurrent mutation pressure


Folder 2
(1 cm)

Book chapters, all undated:

  • Sequential analysis
  • Two absorbing barriers
  • Two reflecting barriers
  • Example of economy of the S.P.R.T.
  • Sequential estimation

Portions of chapters or research papers, all undated:

  • Wald’s identity
  • Random walk (R.W.)
  • Selection for genetic improvement
  • A stochastic approach to the study of parasite populations
  • A note on the solution of normal equations for models of less than full rank, Tallis
  • Personal survival probabilities in the analysis of disease, Tallis
  • Permutation probabilities based on exponential latent variables
  • On the joint asymptotic distribution of additive genotype for polygenic characters, Tallis
  • A deterministic model for the life cycle of a class of internal parasites of sheep, G. Gordon, M O’Callaghan and Tallis, 1970 (2 reprints)
  • Handwritten notes, undated
  • ‘Extensions to Crow’s Model’


Folder 3
(3 cm)

  • Revised paper ‘Internal estimation and controlled selection with applications to sheep’, Tallis and P. Leppard, 1988
  • A3 printout of ‘Transfer systems and covariance under assortative mating’, Tallis, undated
  • Handwritten notes and equations on the genetics of survival, undated
  • Two blue springback folders containing:
  • Chapter 0 – Biological background
  • Chapter 1 – Equilibrium under panmixia
  • Chapter 2 – Genetic variance and covariance under panmixia
  • Portion of a chapter, title unknown, pp. 118-139

 

1.6 Miscellaneous articles and research notes

Folder 1 (1 cm)

  • ‘Analysis of survival data from central cancer registry with passive follow-up’, Tallis and P. Leppard, 1988
  • Email correspondence re breast screen data, 2004
  • Reprint ‘Approximate maximum likelihood estimates from grouped data’, Tallis, 1967
  • ‘Model one: Core application form and checklist’, Department of Health, Human Research Ethics Committee, completed by Tallis, P. Leppard and T.J. O’Neil and 2004
  • Printed notes re the delay between initiation and reporting of breast cancer, undated
  • Letter from Tallis to T. O’Neill re problems with their paper with respect to the distribution of the ages at reporting breast cancer, 2004
  • Annotated photocopy of ‘A stochastic model for team golf competitions with applications to handicapping’, Tallis, 1994
  • Handwritten notes and equations re the number of women reporting breast cancer between 1977-92
  • Printout of data set, likely related to breast cancer screening, undated
  • Printed notes and calculations, ‘Checking for abnormalities in screen tests’, undated
  • Set of handwritten notes and equations re single tumour growth rates, c2004
  • Printed notes and equations, ‘The key problem’ re sampling with or without replacement, undated
  • Handwritten notes, ‘Sharp knives’, undated
  • Handwritten notes, ‘Insurance against disaster’, undated
  • Journal article ‘Transfer systems and covariance under assortative mating’, Tallis, 1985

 

Folder 2 (0.8 cm)

  • Handwritten notes and equations re mean squared error, undated; printed equations ‘Best unbiased predictors’, undated and reprint of journal article ‘Is length of life predictable?’, Tallis and P. Leppard, 1997
  • Photocopy of book chapter ‘Probability models’, author unknown, undated
  • A3 photocopy of handwritten notes re random variations, undated
  • Photocopy of book chapter ‘Almost sure convergence’, unknown author, undated
    Handwritten notes ‘Results probability’, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Ratios with experimental variables’, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Index selection’, undated

 

Folder 3 (1.5 cm)

  • Printed notes ‘Batch control sampling’, author unknown, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Sheppard’s corrections’, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Application of elliptical and radial truncation to the detection of outliers’, undated, etc.
  • Printed notes ‘Estimated survival under screening’, undated
  • Set of printed data and handwritten notes on weighting, undated
  • Sets of handwritten and printed notes, including: ‘The model and asymptotics’; estimating median survival; estimated survival under screening; tables of South Australian Cancer Registry data and comparison of screening designs, etc.

 

Folder 4 (3 cm)

  • Reprint of journal article ‘The relationship between a class of asymptotically normal estimators and goodness of fit tests’, Tallis and P. L. Chesson, 1976, and associated handwritten research notes.
  • ‘Foreward’ and ‘Chi-square goodness-of-fit tests’, Tallis, undated, plus associated handwritten notes.
  • Book chapters, all undated:
  • Chapter 1 – Bertrand’s Paradox
  • Chapter 2 – Results on uniform distribution
  • Chapter 3 – Random vectors and directions
  • Chapter 4 – Nearest Neighbour problems

 

Folder 5 (1.5 cm)

  • Printed chapter ‘Chapter 3: Inbreeding’, undated
  • Printed chapter ‘Chapter 4: Assortative mating’, undated
  • Errata and additions to the bibliography, for unknown article, chapter or book, c1977
  • Annotated printed notes ‘Inbreeding and gene frequency’, together with associated handwritten equations/calculations, undated
  • Printed notes and equations ‘Interval estimation’, undated, 66pp.

 

Series 2: Reports and technical papers by Tallis

Folder 1 (1.5 cm)

  • ‘Report of statistical studies in relation to breast cancer: 1966-1974’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University
  • ‘Notes on the general linear model and related distribution theory’, Tallis and N. I. Fisher, Technical report no. 8, April 1972, Division of Mathematical Statistics, CSIRO (2 copies)
  • ‘Chi-square goodness-of-fit tests’, Tallis, Technical paper no. 16, August 1982, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University

Folder 2 (1 cm)

  • ‘A problem in golf handicapping’, Tallis, Research report 92/1, May 1992, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University (2 copies)
  • ‘A central limit theorem for finite populations’, Tallis, Research report 92/2, June 1992, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University (2 copies)
  • ‘A review of the technical features of breast cancer screening illustrated by a specific model using South Australian Cancer Registry data, T. J. O’Neill, Tallis and P. Leppard, Statistics research report no. SRR 042-94, December 1994, School of Mathematical Sciences, Australian National University

 

Series 3: Reprints of journal articles by Tallis (6 cm)

One large black folder of published articles, spanning 1959-2009.  A comprehensive list of articles, ordered chronologically, is available.

 

Series 4: Unpublished papers by Tallis (6 cm)

Papers organised chronologically in two black folders labelled ‘Volume 2’ and ‘Volume 3’, 1959-2009

Folder 1

  • ‘Biological trajectories in clinical investigations’, Alan Ross and Tallis, The John Hopkins University, Maryland, undated
  • ‘Maximum likelihood estimation under constraints’, Tallis, M. Hudson and N. Carter, Division of Mathematical Statistics, C.S.I.R.O., N.S.W., 1969
  • ‘A relationship between maximum likelihood estimators and moment estimators’, Tallis and M. Hudson, 1970
  • ‘Notes on the general linear model and related distribution theory’, Tallis and N. I. Fisher, Division of Mathematical Statistics, C.S.I.R.O., S.A., 1972
  • ‘The non-central wishart distribution’, Tallis and N. I. Fisher, Division of Mathematical Statistics, C.S.I.R.O., N.S.W., undated
  • ‘Notes on inference I sufficient statistics, the exponential family, minimum variance and minimum variance bound estimators’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1973
  • Notes on inference II mixed densities’, Tallis and T. J. O’Neill, 1973
  • ‘The use of a probability model for the construction of age specific life tables for women with breast cancer’, Tallis, G. Sarfaty and P. Leppard, Adelaide University, 1973 (photocopy of title page only)
  • ‘Goodness of fit tests for a class of asymptotically normal estimators’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1973
  • ‘Two optimisation problems of constrained index selection theory’, Tallis and P. Chesson, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1975

 

Folder 2

  • ‘A super population theory for finite sampling and prediction’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1981
  • ‘Chi-square goodness-of-fit tests’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1982
  • ‘Estimating the potential gain due to additional tenders’, Tallis and P. Leppard, 1985
  • ‘Improved approximations to the A.S.N. and O.C. function’, Tallis and P. Leppard, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1985
  • ‘Internal estimation and controlled selection with applications to sheep’, Tallis and P. Leppard, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1988
  • ‘A problem in golf handicapping’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1992
  • ‘A central limit theorem for finite populations’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1992
  • ‘Percentile rankings for risk factor vectors’, Tallis, P. I. Leppard and G. A. Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1992
  • ‘A note on balanced sampling and non-response’, Tallis, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, 1997
  • ‘Comparative sampling: Two theories of sampling finite populations’, Dept. of Statistics, Adelaide University, undated
  • ‘The construction of failure models for long term clinical studies’, Tallis and Alan Ross, Dept. of Biostatistics, The John Hopkins University, Maryland and Division of Mathematical Statistics, C.S.I.R.O., N.S.W., undated

Series 5: Theses by Tallis  (9 cm)

  • ‘A topcross breeding experiment with outbred and inbred Hereford sires’, The Ohio State University, 1957
  • ‘A statistical investigation of certain genetic parameter estimators and predictors of genetic gains’, University of New South Wales, 1962 (2 copies)
  • ‘Truncation, grouping and the construction of distributions with special reference to normal populations’ University of New South Wales, 1964

 

Series 6: Teaching/Lecture Notes

6.1 Statistics IH (0.5 cm)

  • General first year course outline, including course summary, lecture and tutorial times, exercises, assessment and reference books, 1983
  • Photocopy of Statistics IH typewritten introductory notes re finite population, unit, variable, sample, etc., undated
  • Handwritten calculations, undated, Tallis(?), 4pp.
  • Photocopy of journal article, ‘On approximating the point binomial’, M. S. Raff, 1956

 

6.2 Mathematical statistics II (2 cm)

  • ‘Mathematical statistics II: Linear models’, Tallis(?), undated
  • ‘Mathematical Statistics II: Experimental data’, Tallis(?), 1988
  • ‘Linear models II’, Tallis(?), 1989
  • ‘Sequential analysis’, Tallis(?), undated
  • ‘Estimation’, Tallis(?), undated (2 copies)

 

6.3 Mathematical statistics III – Distribution theory (2 cm)

  • Typewritten handout ‘Mathematical statistics III (QT03): Distribution theory: Exercises’, undated
  • Handwritten version of above ‘Mathematical statistics III: Distribution theory: Exercises’, Term 1 1974
  • Handwritten ‘Answers’, likely to the above exercises, undated
  • Photocopy of journal article ‘Leisurely look at the bootstrap, the jackknife, and cross-validation, B. Efron and G. Gong, 1983
  • Printed notes and equations ‘Probability spaces’, undated
  • Photocopy of journal article, ‘Jackknife methods’, D. Hinkley, date unknown
  • Photocopy of journal article ‘Computer-intensive methods in statistics’, P. Diaconis and B. Efron, date unknown
  • Annotated equations ‘Proof’, undated
  • Handwritten equations, untitled and undated

 

6.4 Mathematical Statistics III – Medical statistics/sampling theory (1 cm)

  • Course printout ‘Mathematical statistics III: Medical statistics/sampling theory’, exercises and tutorial timetable, term 1 1987
  • Handwritten notes in red ‘3rd year Med. Stats’, undated
  • Handwritten and typed ‘Medical statistics solutions’ for exercises 2-10 (no. 6 missing), undated
  • Printed notes and equations ‘Medical statistics’, undated, 30pp.
  • Printed and annotated portion of notes ‘Testing the hypothesis’, pp. 30-39
  • Handwritten notes ‘Logistic regression in case-(?) studies’, undated

 

6.5 Honours statistics (0.5 cm)

  • Typewritten notes ‘Honours statistics: Calibration project 1974’
  • Printed notes ‘Calibration I (2 sample)’ re hormone samples and their testing in a machine which is calibrated against fixed concentrations of the synthetic hormone, undated
  • ‘Problem 1,’ including questionnaire designed to investigate women’s reaction to a breast cancer examination clinic and to discover the extent of their knowledge about breast cancer, undated
  • ‘Problem 2’ re wagering on the outcome of events, 1978
  • Handwritten notes ‘Aspects of calculation’, undated
  • Two reprints of journal article ‘Note on a calibration problem’, Tallis, 1969
  • Photocopy of journal article ‘Regression methods in calibration problems’, E. J. Williams, 1969
  • Typewritten notes ‘Non-parametric estimation of the regression function’, undated
  • List of references pertaining to calibration problems, undated

 

6.6 Honours statistics IV – Quantitative genetics (2.5 cm)

  • QT99 Honours statistics IV: Quantitative genetics, 2nd term 1984
  • 1346 Honours statistics IV: Quantitative genetics, November 1986
  • Adelaide University examination booklet, with handwritten notes, undated
  • Photocopy of exercise questions and various handwritten answers or notes, re dominant colours of snapdragons; blood groups, and inbreeding, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Simulation’, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Path method’, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Difference equations’, undated
  • Book chapters or portions thereof ‘Correlation between relatives’ and ‘Selection and estimation’, undated
  • ‘Matrix spectral decomposition’ and related ‘Exercise’, author unknown, undated

 

6.7 Honours statistics IV - Discrete distributions and model building (3 cm)

  • ‘Honours statistics IV’: Discrete distributions and model building’, Tallis(?), undated
  • Photocopy of chapter ‘The construction of distributions’, author unknown, undated
  • Annotated photocopy of typescript notes ‘Stochastic processes’, author unknown, undated
  • Handwritten notes ‘Stochastic model’, Tallis(?), undated
  • Notebook of handwritten exercises ‘Stats Exercises: Model building’, Tallis(?) undated
  • Exam questions ‘Honours Statistics IV: Discrete distributions and model building’, Adelaide University, June 1994
  • ‘Discrete distributions & biological models: Solutions’, 1992 and 1994

 

6.8 Difference equations (1 cm)

  • Handwritten (possible teaching) notes on difference equations, Tallis(?), all undated

 

6.9 Inference (0.7 cm)

  • Handwritten (possible teaching) notes ‘Third year inference’, undated
  • Printed version of above but titled ‘Level three inference’, Tallis, undated
  • Printed copy of ‘Level three inference: Exercises’, undated
  • Various handwritten notes and equations re generalised inverses, etc., undated

 

6.10 Mean square error prediction (3 cm)

  • 4th year Mean square error prediction handwritten class notes, 1986
  • Handwritten notes, ‘Predictive densities’, undated
  • A3 printout, ‘Mean square error prediction’, undated, 27pp.

 

6.11 Probability Theory (4 cm)

  • 4th year probability theory handwritten notes, undated
  • Foolscap notes ‘Applied probability theory problems’, Keith Rust, undated
  • Handwritten and typed notes ‘Finite state stochastic processes’, undated, 53pp.
  • Printed notes ‘Matrix analysis’, undated, 11pp.
  • Printed notes ‘Markov processes in continuous time’, undated, p. 48-66
  • Group on handwritten and typed notes on problem sets, all undated
  • Reprint of journal article ‘Further models for the distribution of pasture of infective larvae of the Strongyloid Nematode parasites of sheep’, Tallis and A. D. Donald, 1970
  • Photocopy of journal article ‘Some finite time results for finite Markov chains, S. R. Adke, 1964
  • Photocopy of journal article ‘The probabilistic basis of stereology, P. A. P. Moran, 1972
  • Photocopy of journal article ‘A second note on recent research in geometrical probability, P. A. P. Moran, 1969
  • Photocopy of journal article ‘A third note on recent research in geometrical probability’, D. V. Little, 1974

 

6.12 Folder labelled by Tallis ‘2nd term, 3rd year lecture notes’ (1 cm)

  • Printed notes ‘Fundamental area formula’, undated, 62pp.
  • Set of five handwritten notes, on titled ‘Results (solutions)’, the others ‘Solutions A, B, C, or D’, undated

Lee Hayes
September 2018

Rare Books & Special Collections
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