After graduating from medical school and doing an internship in internal medicine, I switched to research in receptor pharmacology (and published over 50 peer reviewed articles). While I was on the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California San Diego, I was given the job of teaching statistics to first year medical students and to graduate students. The syllabus for those courses grew into the first edition of Intuitive Biostatistics and now Essential Biostatistics.


I hated creating graphs by hand, so I created some programs to do so. I also created some simple statistics programs after realizing that the existing statistical software, while great for statisticians, was overkill for most scientists. These efforts were the origins of GraphPad Software Inc., which has been a full-time endeavor for two decades. In this role I email with students and scientists almost daily, making me acutely aware of the many ways that statistical concepts can be confusing or misunderstood, and this background has motivated writing Essential Biostatistics.

Harvey Motulsky