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STATISTICS AS A PROFESSION. N. Scott Urquhart Director, STARMAP Department of Statistics Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 80523-1877. OUTLINE FOR TODAY. Questions are WELCOME Start with “Truth in Advertising” What a statistician does Fields of endeavor which use statistics

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STATISTICS AS A PROFESSION


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statistics as a profession

STATISTICS AS A PROFESSION

N. Scott Urquhart

Director, STARMAP

Department of Statistics

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1877

outline for today
OUTLINE FOR TODAY
  • Questions are WELCOME
  • Start with “Truth in Advertising”
  • What a statistician does
  • Fields of endeavor which use statistics
  • High school courses relevant to continuing in statistics
  • Personal experience with agricultural, ecological and environmental scientists
truth in advertising
TRUTH IN ADVERTISING!
  • My objective today: Interest you in considering statistics as a career
    • Come to Colorado State University – good idea
      • Other good undergraduate programs exist
  • Why?
    • Real shortage of trained statisticians
      • Environmental statisticians in particular
  • EPA funding to CSU – Statistics
      • Cooperative agreement CR-829095
      • Although people at EPA have encouraged me to visits high schools, I do NOT speak for EPA.
what does a statistician do
WHAT DOES A STATISTICIAN DO?
  • Most practicing statisticians help investigators solve problems
    • The problems ordinarily have some quantitative aspect
  • Do statisticians mainly sit at a computer doing statistical analyses (tests)?
    • NO !!!!!
  • My substantial areas of activity:
      • Designing responses – how to measure things
      • Designing studies – experiments and surveys
      • Helping people relate analyses to objectives
      • Interpreting analyses
      • Planning and/or conducting analyses
what fields use statistics
WHAT FIELDS USE STATISTICS?
  • Simple answer = MOST!
  • Manufacturing (Development, QA, & HR)
    • From automobiles (Ford)
    • To computer chips (Intel)
    • To the petrochemical industry (Phillips)
    • To aerospace (Boeing)
    • To drug manufacture (Bristol-Myers Squibb)
  • Medical
    • Drug research
    • Cancer research
    • Health maintenance organizations (HMO)
    • Evaluation of medical/surgical procedures
what fields use statistics continued
WHAT FIELDS USE STATISTICS?(continued)
  • Government
    • Environmental agencies EPA to cities (Portland, OR)
    • Health – CDC = (Centers for Disease control and Prevention)
    • Security – FBI & CIA; Homeland Security
    • Departments of transportation
    • Agriculture
    • Social sciences
    • Census Bureau
    • National Park Service
    • Public utility commissions
what fields use statistics continued 2
WHAT FIELDS USE STATISTICS?(continued - 2)
  • Business
    • Internet usage
    • Banking
    • Marketing – market analyses
    • Publishing (current announcement from Freeman)
    • Accounting/auditing
    • Statistical consulting firms
  • Academic
    • Most disciplines use statistics in some way
      • Engineering to literature!
      • Psychology to crop science!
high school courses relevant to continuing in statistics
HIGH SCHOOL COURSES RELEVANT TO CONTINUING IN STATISTICS
  • English
    • “Reading” & “Writing”
  • Math
    • “Arithmetic”
    • As wide an exposure to “word problems” as possible
  • Computer usage
  • General science
  • Learning is hard work!
    • Most marketable skills require hard work to learn
    • Easy courses of study lead to lots of competitors in the workplace