Statistics Department identifying more collaborative strengths

Statistics Department identifying more collaborative strengths

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The Department of Statistics is about more than just analyzing a bunch of numbers. In addition to developing new analytical methodologies, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Statistics Department uses existing methodologies in new ways for addressing new problems and for analyzing new data types. Statistical analyses range from helping identify genes in both humans and corn to guiding economics and drug discovery to precisely managing agricultural production and natural resources.

The university created the Department of Statistics in July 2003 by merging the Department of Biometry in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and the statistics division of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Until July 2018, IANR and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) jointly administered the Statistics Department.

Because of the importance of the Statistics Department to the cutting-edge research and education in IANR, the Institute agreed to assume the portion of financial support formerly provided by the College of Arts and Sciences — allowing CAS to reduce its budget by that amount. IANR reduced its budget in other areas to make this high-priority, strategic investment, said Ron Yoder, IANR senior associate vice chancellor.

The number of faculty members in the Department of Statistics had decreased in recent years. "The department is currently beginning searches to hire five faculty members to rebuild the strength in data management and analysis that is critical to complement the excellent faculty hires we have made in other areas in the past six years," he said.

The new faculty members will enable IANR to augment existing strengths of the Department of Statistics by adding expertise in emerging areas of statistics to build collaborative relationships with faculty members from other disciplines. The department will continue to offer a variety of statistical methods courses to students throughout the university, Yoder added.

“Through its teaching and research, we offer master's and Ph.D. programs in statistics. In addition to a purely statistical Ph.D. program, we also offer several Ph.D. programs jointly with other departments,” said Bertrand Clarke, professor and Statistics Department chair. “We also offer graduate and undergraduate minors in statistics.”