Statistics FacultyThe practice of the statistical arts goes back to antiquity. Historians of science can identify several large steps in the development. Perhaps the earliest is the effective census-taking begun in the 17th century. In the 18th and early 19th centuries several important contributions to the mathematical understanding of statistical regularity were made. Many of these developments revolved around the common games of chance. In the late 19th century the rise of the biological sciences, with masses of irregular data, gave a tremendous push to statistics, and the field began to take its present form. The ubiquitous computer of the late 20th century has provided the statistician with enough computing power to accomplish all the arithmetic required by the methodology. The emerging challenge for the field of statistics is the creative use of this new computing power.
The Statistics Group's primary mission is the preparation of students in the various degree programs. A wide selection of courses, introductory and advanced, applied and theoretical, is the heart of this activity. Student preparation also involves seminars, projects, and the writing of dissertations for the Ph.D. The Stern School of Business is a leader among business schools for the study of statistics and actuarial science. The faculty conducts research at the frontier of knowledge while simultaneously teaching and working in a milieu that requires quick answers to complex questions. Research activities are detailed elsewhere.
Faculty consulting and applications work include projects involving survey sampling, actuarial problems, product testing, marketing, and the modeling of financial instruments. Faculty members also hold key editorship positions on leading professional journals.