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## So You Want to be a Statistician?

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**So You Want to be a Statistician?**Alex Trindade Associate Professor of Statistics Department of Mathematics & Statistics Texas Tech University**What is Statistics?**The Science of learning from data...**What is Statistics?**• Descriptive Statistics (Easy Statistics) • Graphical and numerical summaries of data. • Averages; variances; percentiles; etc. • Ex: mean high temperature in Lubbock on May 8 is 81 degrees. • Histograms; pie-charts; bar-charts; scatter-plots; etc. • Ex: histogram of mean high temperature in Lubbock on May 8 for last 100 years.**What is Statistics?**• Inferential Statistics(Hard Statistics) • Estimate/Predict unknown quantities from a sample of data. • Ex: predict this year’s high temperature in Lubbock on May 8, based on the previous 100 years. • Ex: estimate the location and expression patterns of the gene(s) that determine adult height on the human genome. • Quantify the uncertainty in these estimates by giving a measure of their variability (margin of error). • Ex: assess the variability of the prediction of this year’s high temperature in Lubbock on May 8, based on the previous 100 years. • Ex: assess the variability in the estimate of the location and expression patterns of gene(s) determinining adult height on the human genome.**Why Does Statistics Work?**Largely because of the Central Limit Theorem... • Sample averages, and many other variables, tend to follow a Normal (or bell-shaped) Distribution. • Thisis a universalLaw of Randomness. • The speed of modern computers is only just now reaching the required levels to make sophisticated statistical analyses feasible.**What do Statisticians do?**They are present behind the scenes in every field of scientific endeavor...**What do Statisticians do?**• Agricultural & Animal Sciences • Design field experiments to determine which of 3 varieties of corn is the most productive. • Determine, from the analysis of a few samples of meat, what the contamination rate with E. Coli is for the entire herd. • Estimate animal abundance in a particular region using capture/recapture data.**What do Statisticians do?**• Meteorology/Climatology • Help climate scientists forecast the weather; build models for climate change; etc.**What do Statisticians do?**• Medical Sciences (Biostatisticians) • Design clinical trials for newly developed drugs to ascertain their efficacy and safety.**What do Statisticians do?**• Business, Finance, Economics • Work in insurance & banking industries to develop models that quantify the risk involved in various activities (driving, lending money, etc.). (Called actuaries.) • Formulate models that describe the behavior of the economy and associated financial instruments (stocks, mutual funds, etc.). (Called econometricians.)**What do Statisticians do?**• Engineering (Quality Control Professionals) • Determine the reliability of various products/devices: • Ex: lower bound on failure load of aircraft parts. • Ex: average life cycle of medical devices. • Ex: upper & lower acceptability bounds on size of mechanical parts. • Six Sigma Process.**What do Statisticians do?**• Genetics/Bioinformatics • Work in concert with geneticists and computer scientists to unravel one of the biggest mysteries of our time: • Where exactly are the genes located on our chromosomes, and what do they do, exactly? • There are approx 3 billion base pairs and 21,000 genes in the human genome. • With each gene only a few base pairs in length, this is like finding a needle in a haystack!**Some Projects I’ve Worked(-ing) On**• The Boeing Company (Seattle, Washington) • World leader in aircraft manufacture. • Worked with a team of engineers to build statistical models to predict lower bounds for the failure loads of certain parts.**Some Projects I’ve Worked(-ing) On**• Encision, Inc. (Boulder, Colorado) • Manufactures medical instruments for laparoscopic surgery. • Quantified the reliability (life-cycle) of a particular device.**Some Projects I’ve Worked(-ing) On**• Risk Management and Financial Engineering Lab (University of Florida, Gainesville) • Within the department of Industrial Engineering. • Developed statistical models for assessing financial risk.**Some Projects I’ve Worked(-ing) On**• Advanced Laboratory for Radiation Dosimetry Studies (University of Florida, Gainesville) • Within the department of Nuclear & Radiological Engineering. • Developed statistical models for assessing patient-specific skeletal dosimetry in radiation therapy.**How to Become a Statistician?**It’s a long road... • Bachelors Degree (B.S.) in Mathematics • or other mathematics-intense discipline like engineering, economics, physics, chemistry, etc. • 4+ years beyond high school. • Masters Degree (M.S.) in Statistics/Biostatistics • or mathematics (for Ph.D.-level statistician). • 2+ years beyond B.S. • Work involves mostly programming under the direction of a Ph.D.-level statistician; not too exciting; but money is good! • Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Statistics/Biostatistics • 3+ years beyond M.S. • Work is varied; involves real discovery at the frontiers of science; typically fascinating!**Who Employs Statisticians?**A lot of industries... • Pharmaceutical Companies • Typically based in large metro areas (NE seaboard). • Both M.S. and Ph.D. level. • Median starting salaries as of 2007: • $70,000 (M.A.); $95,000 (Ph.D.). • Large Engineering & Business Companies • Typically based in large metro areas. • Both M.S. and Ph.D. level. • Median starting salaries as of 2007: • $60,000 (M.A.); $80,000 (Ph.D.).**Who Employs Statisticians?**• The Federal Government • Primarily based in the Washington D.C. area. • Both M.S. and Ph.D. level. • Median starting salaries as of 2007: • $60,000 (M.A.); $90,000 (Ph.D.). • Colleges & Universities • Widely distributed. • Ph.D. level only. • Median starting salaries as of 2007: • $85,000 (Biostatistics, 12 months) • $72,000 (Statistics, 9 months, University) • $58,000 (Statistics, 9 months, College)**My Biography**• Originally from Europe (Portugal). • Grew up in South Africa. • Bachelors in Mathematics, 1988, University of Southampton (England). • Masters in Mathematics, 1992, University of Oklahoma. • Programmer, 1993-1995, IBM (Dallas). • PhD in Statistics, 2000, Colorado State University. • Assistant Prof., 2000-2007, Dept. of Statistics, University of Florida.**So, do You Want to be a Statistician?**(www.amstat.org)