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These notes are based on a series of lectures given at the Radiation Laboratory in the summer of 1958. I wish to make clear my lack of familiarity with the mathematical literature and the corresponding lack of mathematical rigor in this presentation. The primary source for the basic material and approach presented here was Enrico Fermi. My first introduction to much of the material here was in a series of discussions with Enrico Fermi, Frank Solmitz, and George Backus at the University of Chicago in the autumn of 1953. I am grateful to Dr. Frank Solmitz for many helpful discussions and I have drawn heavily from his report "Notes on the Least Squares and Maximum Likelihood Methods." [1] The general presentation will be to study the Gausssian distribution, binomial distribution, Poisson distribution, and least-squares method in that order as applications of the maximum-likelihood method.

August 13, 1958