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Applications and Careers In Statistics Purdue University Science 111 Presentation March 21, 2005

Applications and Careers In

Statistics

Purdue University Science 111 Presentation

March 21, 2005

Outline

  • What is Statistics?

  • What do statisticians do?

  • Statistics in the Community

  • Research at Purdue

  • Our research interests

What is Statistics?

  • ‘The science of collecting, organizing, and interpreting numerical facts’

  • ‘The science of understanding data and making decisions in the face of uncertainty’

  • ‘The art of making numerical conjectures about puzzling questions’

  • ‘The construction of useful information out of data’

Where Can Statisticians Contribute?

  • Business and Industry

  • Health and Medicine

  • Natural Resources and Sciences

  • Education

  • Government, Media, and Law

Business and Industry  Manufacturing  Improve product quality  Increase efficiency of processes  Marketing

Business and Industry

  • Manufacturing

    • Improve product quality

    • Increase efficiency of processes

  • Marketing

    • Conduct sample surveys

    • Determine product viability

  • Engineering

    • Make consistent product

    • Predict product life

  • Computing

    • Software design and development

    • Efficient implementation of complex analytic tools

  • Health and Medicine

    • Epidemiology

      • Calculate cancer incidence rates

      • Monitor disease outbreaks

  • Public Health

    • Design community efforts

    • Education programs

  • Pharmacology

    • Drug discovery, development, and approval

    • Ensure validity of results in clinical trials

  • Genetics

    • Identify potential indicators for specific diseases or traits

    • Develop effective plant and animal breeding strategies

  • Natural Resources and Sciences

    • Agriculture

      • Study pesticides to maximize crop yield

      • Evaluate differences in crop management

  • Ecology

    • Study changes in local and global climate

    • Develop strategies to improve the environment

  • Chemistry

    • Predict shape of large molecules

    • Analysis of mass spectrometry data

  • Biology

    • Seek to better understand why insects cluster

    • Identify genes related to a particular disease

  • Education

    • Develop effective teaching strategies

    • Research appropriate and informative evaluation (testing) instruments

    • Identify risk factors for bullying, dropping out,

    failing

    • Help students acquire quantitative reasoning

    skills

    Government, Media, and Law  Government Agencies  Design and implement effective sampling strategies  Estimate

    Government, Media, and Law

    • Government Agencies

      • Design and implement effective sampling strategies

      • Estimate the U.S. unemployment rate

      • Track and report changes in the economy

      • Regulations on stock trading, drug approval, pollution

  • Journalism

    • Effective communication of statistical ideas to a broad audience

    • Participation in education efforts

  • Expert Witness

    • Testify in court cases involving DNA evidence, salary discrepancies, discrimination, and disease clusters

  • Skills Needed By Statisticians  Quantitative Skills  Statistics, Mathematics, Science  Problem-Solving Skills  Analysis,

    Skills Needed By Statisticians

    • Quantitative Skills

      • Statistics, Mathematics, Science

    • Problem-Solving Skills

      • Analysis, Teamwork

    • Communication Skills

      • Verbal, Written

    • Computer Programming

    • Foundation in Field of Application

    What is STATCOM?

    • A student-run volunteer organization to provide free statistical expertise to the local community

    • Primarily graduate students in Purdue Department of Statistics

    • Work with local non-profit and government groups

    • An opportunity to develop consulting, leadership, teamwork, and communication skills

    Statistics in Local Government

    • Sagamore Parkway Task Force

      • How should Sagamore Parkway be improved to make it safer and more attractive to residents and new businesses?

    Statistics in Local Government  Sagamore Parkway Task Force  How should Sagamore Parkway be improved
    • West Lafayette Strategic Plan

      • What should the city’s priorities be and where should

    it spend taxpayers’ money?

    Statistics in the Schools

    Statistics in the Schools  Are state funds allocated fairly across school districts?  Do schools
    • Are state funds allocated fairly across school districts?

    • Do schools perform differently on

    standardized tests, and

    if so, why?

    • How can teachers identify students needing extra help?

    Statistics in Libraries

    • What genres are the most popular?

    • Where should the library spend its money?

    • Does location within the library affect checkout rates?

    Statistics in Libraries  What genres are the most popular?  Where should the library spend
    Statistics in Community Organizations  How effective are a rehabilitation center’s programs?  Why is there

    Statistics in Community Organizations

    • How effective are a rehabilitation center’s programs?

    • Why is there high staff turnover at some organizations?

    Statistics in Community Organizations  How effective are a rehabilitation center’s programs?  Why is there
    • How can an organization increase the response rate of a survey?

    • Which community services should be expanded?

    Benefits of STATCOM

    • Provide students with hands-on experience

    • Improve relations between university and local community

    • Assist local organizations that would not

    normally seek statistical consulting services

    • Allow students to give back to the local community

    Tackling Malnutrition in Young Children  Corn is a staple food in Latin America, Sub- Saharan

    Tackling Malnutrition in Young Children

    • Corn is a staple food in Latin America, Sub- Saharan Africa, and parts of Asia

    • The quality of protein in corn is poor

    • Malnutrition is a common problem in places where corn is the main source of

    food

    Tackling Malnutrition in Young Children  Corn is a staple food in Latin America, Sub- Saharan

    A Genetic Solution to Poor Protein

    Quality

    A Genetic Solution to Poor Protein Quality

    A Genetic Solution to Poor Protein

    Quality

    A Genetic Solution to Poor Protein Quality

    How Do You Know It Works?

    • What kind of experiment would you do?

    • What would you measure?

    Quantifying the Nutritional Benefits  Does the body take up the protein?  Does it lead

    Quantifying the Nutritional Benefits

    • Does the body take up the protein?

    • Does it lead to better health and growth in children?

    • Are families who eat QPM instead of regular corn better off?

    Does the Body Take Up the Protein?  Six children in Guatemala fed QPM or milk

    Does the Body Take Up the Protein?

    • Six children in Guatemala fed QPM or milk (1969)

    • Eight children in Peru fed QPM, regular corn,

    or milk protein (1980)

    • Another six children in Peru fed QPM, regular corn, or milk protein (1989)

    • ...

    Does It Lead to Better Health and

    Growth?

    • Twenty children in Peru fed QPM or milk formula (1990)

    • 134 children in India (1977), but the study

    wasn’t published

    • ...

    Are Families Better Off?

    • Studies have been done in communities and schools in:

      • Mexico

      • Guatemala

      • Brazil

      • Ghana

      • Ethiopia

      • India

    Who Needs It Most?

    Who Needs It Most?
    Summary  Statistics is a widely-used tool in virtually all fields of science and technology 

    Summary

    • Statistics is a widely-used tool in virtually all fields of science and technology

    • There are substantial open research questions in statistics, and there is great room for growth

    • Statistical consulting at Purdue serves both on- campus researchers and non-profit organizations in the local community

    • You can develop the necessary skills to become a statistician or to use statistical tools in your field of interest

    Thank You!

    • References:

      • Samuels and Witmer (1999). Statistics for the Life Sciences.

      • Freedman, Pisani, and Purves (1998). Statistics.

      • Moore and McCabe (1999). Introduction to the Practice of Statistics.

      • Careers in Statistics: A World of Opportunity.

    Presented by the American Statistical Association,

    • Purdue University Department of Statistics

    Related Interests