Statistics and Data Science

What is Statistics?

Statistics is the scientific application of mathematical principles to the collection, analysis, and presentation of numerical data. Statisticians apply their mathematical and statistical knowledge to the design of surveys and experiments; the collection, processing, and analysis of data; and the interpretation of experiments and survey results. Opinion polls, statements about the accuracy of scales and other measuring devices, and information about average earnings in an occupation are all usually the work of statisticians.

Statisticians may apply their knowledge of statistical methods to a variety of subject areas, such as biology, economics, engineering, medicine, public health, psychology, marketing, education, and sports. Many economic, social, political, and military decisions cannot be made without statistical techniques, such as the design of experiments to gain Federal approval of a newly manufactured drug. Statistics might be needed to show whether the seemingly good results of a drug were likely because of the drug rather than just the effect of random variation in patient outcomes.

What is Statistics and Data Science?

The term "big data" gets thrown around often today, but the science behind this concept is a mystery to most. Statistics and Data Science is a field that informs the processes behind big data, employing sophisticated methods to make sense of large information sets.  Statistics and Data Science uses principles of mathematics, statistics, and computer programming to build, organize and interpret large collections of data. These analyses can inform numerous types of academic and industrial endeavors, and are particularly critical to many modern science and engineering projects.

While computers today are excellent at collecting and processing vast stores of information, these databases must be examined by highly trained humans to truly unlock their meaning. Experts in Statistics and Data Science must understand not only how to manage the computer systems that collect data -- something that often requires formidable programming skills -- but also how to effectively clean and analyze the data in ways that allow useful patterns to emerge.

How do I get started?

The University offers a doctoral program for studying Statistics and Data Science:

Visit the pages above for program details. If you are ready to begin at the University, you may also apply now.  

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact College of Science

Phone (775) 784-4591
Fax (775) 784-4592
Location Davidson Math and Science Center