Albert Wurts Whitney (20 June 1870, Geneva, Illinois – 27 July 1943) was a statistician and actuarial scientist, known for his role in the application of Bayes' rule to the development of standards in setting insurance premiums for workmen's compensation.[1] He was a pioneer in accident prevention work and public safety education.[2]

The son of the Yale alumnus Reverend Henry Mitchell Whitney, Albert W. Whitney was part of the Dwight family of New England. He graduated from Beloit College in 1891[2] and married Martha Reynolds Bill in 1899.

Whitney was an alumnus of Beloit College and had no graduate degrees but had taught mathematics at the universiities of Chicago, Nebraska, and Michigan. At the University of California in Berkeley he had taught probability for future insurance professionals.[3]

Albert Whitney's activities gradually extended beyond the classroom. His non-academic work was performed for various private and governmental agencies as an expert in the fields of fire and workmen's compensation insurance. Finally in 1914 he became associated with the business of stock casualty insurance as Manager of the then newly-organized Workmen's Compensation Service Bureau (now the National Bureau of Casualty and Surety Underwriters). This association continued in several capacities until his retirement, shortly before his death, from the National Conservation Bureau, a department of the Association of Casualty and Surety Executives.[4]

From to 1922 to 1924 Whitney was the chair of the American Engineering Standards Committee.[5] In 1924 he was an Invited Speaker of the ICM in Toronto.


  1. ^ McGrayne, Sharon Bertsch (2011). The Theory that Would Not Die. Yale University Press. p. 44.
  2. ^ a b Albert Wurts Whitney at Find a Grave
  3. ^ McGrayne, Sharon Bertsch (2011). The Theory that Would Not Die. Yale University Press. pp. 43–44.
  4. ^ "Obituary. Albert Wurts Whitney" (PDF). Casualty Actuarial Society,
  5. ^ Russell, Andrew L. (2014). Open Standards and the Digital Age. p. 80.