What is statistics?
Statistics is the scientific application of mathematical principles to the collection, analysis, and presentation of numerical data. Statisticians contribute to scientific inquiry by applying their mathematical and statistical knowledge to the design of surveys and experiments; the collection, processing, and analysis of data; and the interpretation of the results.
What do statisticians do?
The world is becoming quantitative. More and more professions, from the everyday to the exotic, depend on data and numerical reasoning. Statisticians may apply their knowledge of statistical methods to a variety of real world subject areas. Many economic, social, political, scientific, and military decisions cannot be made without statistical techniques.
What skills are important?
Statistics uses mathematics, but it is not abstract or isolated: statisticians work with people from other professional backgrounds to solve practical problems. Statistics uses modern computing to organize and analyze data, and statisticians command specialized tools, but the emphasis is on the data to be understood and the problem to be solved rather than on computing for its own sake.
As such, statisticians must know more than statistics. A statistician who works in medicine or in a manufacturing plant or in market research must learn enough medicine or engineering or marketing to understand the data in their setting. Statisticians need the ability to work with other people, to listen, and to communicate.
How do I become a statistician?
The BYU Department of Statistics offers one of the oldest and largest undergraduate statistics programs in the US. Students who complete the Statistics BS program will
Be employable in statistics-related fields or qualified to pursue graduate study.
Demonstrate a mastery of the linear model, particularly regression analysis and experimental design.
Demonstrate competence in statistical software.
Demonstrate good statistical consulting skills (teaching, problem solving, oral and written presentations).
What career opportunities do statisticians have?
What is the Department's mission statement?
The mission of the Statistics Department is to help students develop their intellect and faith, expand their understanding of the role of science in the objective systematic pursuit of truth, demonstrate how sound statistical methodology strengthens scientific conclusions, cultivate the ability to understand and communicate the results from empirical research in an ethical manner, and develop and apply methods of modern statistical science. To succeed in this mission, we will:
- Offer the premier undergraduate educational experience to statistics and actuarial science majors that prepares them to pursue satisfying and productive careers and qualifies them to enter competitive graduate programs.
- Offer an applied statistics graduate program that prepares outstanding students for successful and productive careers.
- Provide superb teaching in general education and service courses to cultivate an understanding of the role of the scientific method in performing empirical research.
- Contribute to the advancement of statistical science through peer-reviewed research, and collaborate on the pursuit of knowledge across scientific disciplines.