Future Of Statistics

The bright future of applied statistics

In 2013, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) celebrates its 50th Anniversary. As part of its celebration, COPSS will publish a book, with contributions from past recipients of its awards, titled “Past, Present and Future of Statistical Science”. Below is my contribution titled The bright future of applied statistics. When I was asked to contribute to this issue, titled Past, Present, and Future of Statistical Science, I contemplated my career while deciding what to write about.

Motivating statistical projects

It seems like half of the battle in statistics is identifying an important/unsolved problem. In math, this is easy, they have a list. So why is it harder for statistics? Since I have to think up projects to work on for my research group, for classes I teach, and for exams we give, I have spent some time thinking about ways that research problems in statistics arise. I borrowed a page out of Roger’s book and made a little diagram to illustrate my ideas (actually I can’t even claim credit, it was Roger’s idea to make the diagram).

Follow up on "Statistics and the Science Club"

I agree with Roger’s latest post: “we need to expand the tent of statistics and include people who are using their statistical training to lead the new science”. I am perhaps a bit more worried than Roger. Specifically, I worry that talented go-getters interested in leading science via data analysis will achieve this without engaging our research community. A quantitatively trained person (engineers , computer scientists, physicists, etc..) with strong computing skills (knows python, C, and shell scripting), that reads, for example, “Elements of Statistical Learning” and learns R, is well on their way.