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Graduate Studies in Statistics at University of South Carolina. Edsel A. Pe ñ a Professor and Graduate Director Department of Statistics [email protected] (With Some Materials Obtained From an American Statistical Association Powerpoint Presentation). Outline of Presentation.

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graduate studies in statistics at university of south carolina

Graduate Studies in Statisticsat University of South Carolina

Edsel A. Peña

Professor and Graduate Director

Department of Statistics

[email protected]

(With Some Materials Obtained From an

American Statistical Association Powerpoint Presentation)

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • The Statistics Profession
  • Graduate Studies at USC
  • Faculty and Students
  • Students We Seek
  • Degree Programs
  • Job Market and Salary Information
  • Applying for Admission
  • Financial Support
  • Positive Aspects

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

what is statistics
What Is Statistics?
  • American Heritage® Dictionary: “The mathematics of the collection, organization, and interpretation of numerical data, especially the analysis of population characteristics by inference from sampling.”
  • Statisticians collect and analyze data, then calculate results using a specific design. They draw conclusions and make decisions in the face of uncertainty and by exploiting `order out of chaos.’

Sampling process and Experiments


Unit X Y


1 x1 y1

2 x2 y2

3 x3 y3

… … …

N xN yN


Mean mXmY

StdDev sXsY


Unit X Y


1 x1 y1

2 x2 y2

3 x3 y3

… … …

n xn yn


Mean mX mY

StdDev sX sY



(What we SEE)


(The GOAL, but UNSEEN)


Process (Statistics)

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

Science, Scientific Process, and Statistics

(Cycle of “Life”)







Do a study to gather

sample data (survey,

historical, observational,

designed expt.)

Set-up formal

hypotheses in

terms of variables

and parameters


Results consistent

with the


Analyze sample data

using statistical






Dr. or Prof.


Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina


Economics, Engineering,


Computer Science




Chemistry, Physics

Areas where


are used

Health &


Genetics, Clinical Trials,





Ecology, Forestry,

Animal Populations


Census, Law,

National Defense

Why Study Statistics?
  • Collecting data on subsets of the population (samples) can give valid information about the whole population.
  • Knowing what has happened in the past can help answer questions about the present and future.
  • Knowledge helps plan future tests, determines resource allocation, and improves quality.
What Do Statisticians Do?
  • Study the safety of nuclear power plants
  • Evaluate the environmental impact of pollution
  • Determine the effectiveness of new drugs
  • Estimate the U.S. unemployment rate
  • Analyze consumer demand for products
  • Plan and analyze agricultural experiments
  • Do mathematical research.
Business and Industry
  • Manufacturing
    • Build products and deliver services that satisfy consumers and increase the corporation’s profit margin
Business and Industry
  • Marketing
    • Design experiments for new products, conduct focus groups and sample surveys, and perform field experiments in test markets to determine product viability
Business and Industry
  • Engineering
    • Make a consistent product, detect problems, minimize waste, and predict product life in electronics, chemicals, aerospace, pollution control, construction, and other industries
Business and Industry
  • Statistical Computing
    • Work in software design and development, testing, quality assurance, technical support, education, marketing, and sales to develop code that is both user-friendly and sufficiently complex
Health and Medicine
  • Epidemiology
    • Work on calculating cancer incidence rates, monitor disease outbreaks, and monitor changes in health-related behaviors such as smoking and physical activity
Health and Medicine
  • Public Health
    • Prevent disease, prolong life, and promote health through organized community efforts, including sanitation, hygiene education, diagnoses, and preventative treatment
Health and Medicine
  • Pharmacology
    • Work in drug discovery, development, approval, and marketing, to ensure the validity and accuracy of findings at all stages of the process
Health and Medicine
  • Genetics
    • Label possible indicators of genetic abnormalities, such as birth defects and early aging, or breed desirable characteristics in plant offspring
  • Education
    • Teach K-12 through post-graduate students, assess teacher effectiveness, or develop statistical models to represent student learning
  • Science Writing & Journalism
    • Work with mass media, universities, and corporations to produce news briefs, articles, news releases, and other reports
  • Government
    • Work in regulations for stock trading, pollution, and drug approvals, or testify in court proceedings, congressional hearings, and lobbying arguments
  • Survey Methods
    • Collect data in the social sciences, education, law, forestry, agriculture, biology, medicine, business, and e-commerce, and for the government
Social Statistics
  • Law
    • Analyze data in court cases, including DNA evidence, salary discrepancies, discrimination law suits, and disease clusters
Social Statistics
  • Consulting
    • Work on a temporary basis on a variety of projects including quality improvement, pharmaceuticals, ecology, and engineering
Natural Resources
  • Agriculture
    • Study chemical pesticides, hydrogeology, veterinary sciences, genetics, and crop management in order to ensure optimal yield
Natural Resources
  • Ecology
    • Address questions about the earth’s natural environment, including animal populations, agricultural protections, and fertilizer and pesticide safety
department of statistics at usc
Department of Statistics at USC

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

about the department
About the Department
  • Formed in 1985
  • 13.5 faculty (12 with PhDs)
  • 31 full-time students; 28 part-time
  • Degree Programs: PhD, MS, MIS, CAS
  • Statistical Consulting Center
  • Center for Reliability and Quality Sciences
  • International Conference last May

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

faculty characteristics
Faculty Characteristics
  • 5 Full Professors
  • 3 Associate Professors
  • 3 Assistant Professors
  • 3 Instructors/Lecturers
  • 5 are Elected Fellows of the ASA
  • Recipients of teaching and research awards
  • Active researchers; in editorial boards

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

faculty research interests
Faculty Research Interests
  • Reliability and Quality Sciences
  • Biostatistics and Survival Analysis
  • Nonparametrics
  • Environmetrics
  • Mathematical Statistics and Probability
  • Psychometrics
  • Bioinformatics

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

  • College
    • Major in statistics, mathematics, applied mathematics, or a closely related field (i.e. epidemiology, engineering)
  • Post-Graduate
    • Many career fields require a Master’s degree or PhD in a specialized statistical field
  • Quantitative Skills
    • Statistics, Mathematics, Science
  • Problem Solving Skills
    • Analysis, Teamwork
  • Communication Skills
    • Verbal, Written
  • Computer Programming Languages
  • Foundation in Field of Application
  • Diversity
    • Pure Research
    • Interdisciplinary Teams
  • Advancement
    • Experience, education, and communication skills lead to professional advancement
  • Versatility
    • Challenging and Exciting Fields of Application
degree programs at usc
Degree Programs at USC
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Takes 4-5 years (if admitted without MS)
    • Training in statistical theory, methods, applied statistics, computing, and consulting
    • Suited for academic jobs, industry, research, and teaching
    • Suited for those who are good in mathematics, data analysis, and loves computers
    • Requires dissertation work

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

phd program timetable
PhD Program Timetable
  • First Year: core theory and applied courses
  • Preliminary examination
  • Second Year: additional PhD core theory, applied courses, and computing courses
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Dissertation Proposal and Work (1-2 years)
    • Original research; leads to published work
  • PhD; then a nice job!

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

masters degree programs
Masters Degree Programs
  • Master of Science (MS)
    • Takes 1.5 to 2 years
    • Training suitable for industry job, teaching, or for pursuing a doctorate
  • Master of Industrial Statistics (MIS)
    • For those who are currently working in industry
    • Distance-ed courses available all over SC

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

ms program timetable
MS Program Timetable
  • First three semesters: core theory, applied, and computing courses
  • Last two semesters: master’s thesis work
    • Thesis work: lots of variety (applied, theory, computer-intensive)
  • Master’s thesis defense
  • A nice job, or go into a PhD program

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

2002 2003 salary report of academic statisticians
2002 - 2003 Salary Report of Academic Statisticians

The complete Salary Report can be downloaded at

2001 salary report of biostatistics
2001 Salary Report of Biostatistics

The complete Salary Report can be downloaded at

about our graduates
About Our Graduates
  • Graduates 2-4 PhD’s every year
  • Several MS and MIS graduates every year
  • Excellent job placement: industry, academia, or MS grads proceed to get PhD
  • Graduates have indicated satisfaction with the training they received from USC

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

applying for admission
Applying for Admission
  • Online:
  • One application for admission and financial support (assistantships and fellowships)
  • GRE, Letters of Recommendation (at least 2), Transcripts, Statement of Purpose (optional)
  • Deadline: preferably before March 1st

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

  • About 8-12 new positions every Fall
  • Full-time: 20 hours per week of work
  • Teaching assistantships
  • Research assistantships (NSF, NIH, others)
  • About 31 full-time students have assistantship support
  • Nine-Month Stipend: at least $13000
  • Summer support usually available as well

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

ga responsibilities
GA Responsibilities
  • Teaching Assistant: assists in basic statistics courses during first year, and then handles their own courses
  • Research Assistant: performs own research or assists faculty in their research

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

  • Graduate School
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • Department
  • External sources

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

some positive points of usc
Some Positive Points of USC
  • A small department, but active faculty.
  • Great camaraderie and friendship among students and faculty.
  • Excellent training in both theory, methods, applications, and computing.
  • Excellent job placement after graduation.
  • And, of course, GREAT CLIMATE!

Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina

For More Information

E-Mail: [email protected]


Statistics: Univ. of South Carolina