Mission

The Department of Statistics at Northwestern is committed to teaching the theory and practice of statistics to undergraduate and graduate students and to conducting original research in statistical theory and methodology. The department is distinguished by the faculty's strong interest in the application of statistics to such diverse areas such as public policy, medicine and life sciences, law, and the social and behavioral sciences.

This is an exciting time to study statistics. Recent advances in computing and information technology have had dramatic effects on the field. Increasing amounts of data of all kinds are being collected, ranging from the large databases from the Human Genome Project to supermarket scanner data. Statistical methods are widely used in the social sciences, in the managerial and policy sciences, in engineering and the physical sciences, and in the biological and medical sciences. Statistical arguments have had an increasingly large impact in law, government, and journalism. Students in most fields must be trained to analyze empirical data and to evaluate empirical studies. Such training typically cannot be adequate without a strong statistical education. Additionally, with the continual advance of new statistical methods, faculty outside the Department need a resource for updating their knowledge of statistics.

The department is relatively small, and students benefit from small classes and close interaction with faculty members.

The Department has three missions: statistics instruction at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels, statistical research, and statistical practice.

Statistics Instruction. Our goal is to teach students how to think statistically, how to appropriately apply useful statistical techniques, and how to perform research to advance statistical thinking and practice.

Statistical Research. We seek to advance knowledge by conducting original research in statistical theory and application, broadly viewed. The interests of the faculty are such that "applied" problems have been the motivation for our theoretical research.

Statistics Practice. We seek to improve the practice of statistics at Northwestern (and beyond) through our research, teaching, service work, and intramural and extramural consulting.