Why study statistics?

That is because statistics teaches us how to collect, analyze and make useful inference from data.

The journey of statistics began as an important branch of mathematics, only to be later established as a discipline in its own right. For a very long time, statistical methods have been used by researchers in numerous fields to organize, scrutinize and synopsize data.  Today, statistical methods are extensively used to communicate research findings, support scientific conjectures and give credibility to research methodology and conclusions.  Hence, it is of great importance to researchers to understand statistics in order to assess the credibility and usefulness of available information and make appropriate decisions. 

The importance of statistics is widely recognized in tech companies, financial companies, biomedical companies and so on. Fresh statistics graduates are immediately hired in these industries where they contribute significantly and move up the ladder. The recent boom in data science in the Silicon valley has also opened up opportunities for statistics graduates to find their place in industry. Statistics also offers a large number of academic jobs every year. Owing to the importance of statistics in various disciplines, statistics PhDs are hired in statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology, public policy, business administration and in various other departments.

"I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s?"-- Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google.

Event Description: The event will consist of three sessions. In each session, 2-3 faculty members will provide a blurb of their research. This will be followed by brief presentations of two graduate students. There is a small coffee break after the three sessions. The students are encouraged to socialize, discuss with the faculty members and the alumni about research and prospects in statistics. The event will conclude with a panel discussion where our distinguished alumni as well as a current graduate student will share their experiences as statisticians in industry.

Location: E2-180

Time: 1:30-4:00 PM

Introduction (1:30--1:45 PM)


 Session 1 (1:45--2:20 PM)
Faculty presentations:

Graduate student presentations:

  • Cheng-Han YuBayesian Modeling of Complex-valued fMRI Signals
  • Sisi Song: Trajectory Planning for Autonomous Vehicles for Optimal Monitoring of Environmental   Processes - with Statistics!
Session 2 (2:20--2:55 PM)

Faculty presentations:


Graduate student presentations:

  • Devin FrancomPredicting the Path and Inferring the Source of an Atmospheric Release
  • Yifei Yan: A new family of error distributions for Bayesian quantile regression
Session 3 (3:00--3:35PM)

Faculty presentations:

Graduate student presentations:

Coffee Break (3:35 -- 4:00) Patio, outside simularium
Location: E2-599

Panel discussion (4:00-4:40 PM)

Moderator: Thanasis Kottas (Graduate Director)
Panel:  Tony Pourmohamad (Genetech)
             Sai Xiao (Apple)

             Daniel Kirsner (Current AMS graduate student, Statistics)

Brief Description: The purpose of the panel discussion is to inform current UCSC students about the wide range of academic and industry opportunities available to statistics graduates. The panel consists of two AMS alumni who work in leading tech companies in the Bay area. The third panelist is a current senior year graduate student in AMS who has had some experience in working for financial industry as an intern. The panelists will share their experiences in the industry and provide tips as to how to apply for jobs and internships.