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Alumni Spotlight

Dennis Maynes


Major/Emphasis: Statistics (BS) / Computer Science, Statistics (MS)
Current Position Title: Chief Scientist
Company Name: Caveon, LLC

Why he picked his major:

After I learned about probability and combinatorics in high school, I decided that’s what I wanted to study. I chose statistics because I wanted to apply math to real world problems.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

I am using just about everything I studied at BYU in my current position. My team produces a lot of reports; and I am the final quality control step in the report writing process. So, technical writing and editing are extremely valuable. We present a lot of data using graphs and charts. I learned basic skills for presenting data in my statistics classes. I took Philosophy 101 (Logic). I use logical reasoning with inferences that we present to clients in nearly every report. Of course, statistical analysis and describing probabilities is a core component of our work. I studied computer science. Most of the statistical computations that we use I have programmed in “C,” in more than 200,000 lines of code. I studied math and mathematical statistics. These have been invaluable in creating new statistical methodologies.

His advice to those currently studying:

Prepare yourselves for a future where change is constant. You need to embrace the need to learn new things throughout your life. Master the elementary skills in your selected area of study. Make sure you really understand what others have written and the problems they were trying to solve.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. It is really helpful to recognize and utilize your strengths. It will help a lot if you acknowledge your weaknesses and then embark on a self-improvement program.

G David Booth

Major/Emphasis: Statistics, Quality Science
Current Position Title: Sr. Director Business Unit Quality
Company Name: Smiths Medical

Why he picked his major:

I was fascinated with the tools and processes Statistics provided to make decision in the face of uncertainty.

How schooling helped prepare him for his current position:

Applying statistical techniques as a statistical consultant in solving manufacturing quality problems prepared me to lead others in the quality management function. I lead teams that are responsible for assuring that the design and development of medical devices, as well as the analysis and resolution of quality issues that customers may experience, is executed in a disciplined and statistically valid manner.

His advice to those currently studying:

I've enjoyed applying statistical thinking to a wide range of products over the years: from semiconductors chips for military applications to consumer products such as disposable diapers to medical devices that save and enhance the quality of lives. I would strongly encourage students to explore a range of professional applications of statistics through internships and consulting opportunities. But don't be afraid to bounce around between industries once you've graduated. Statistics is unique in that it is so universally applicable.