About the Department of Statistics
Statistics is the science of data. Data are numbers with a context; the particular context that gave rise to the numbers is important. In addition to a knowledge of mathematics, statisticians must learn about the scientific disciplines that generate data of interest to understand and explain the observational studies or the statistical experiments in question. For example, statisticians calculate probabilities for DNA paternity tests; design clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new medications; study economic time series data, such as gross domestic product from developing countries in Africa; and develop statistical models of responses from fMRI psychological experiments.
The field of statistics has a coherent body of theory, which students of the field master, as well as methodology designed for applied uses in many disciplines. The Department of Statistics teaches courses in both theoretical and applied statistics.