Why there is a need for a Statistics program at UMM?

1. Enhance Student Learning, Career Options, and their Readiness for Post-graduate Professional/academic life:

• The knowledge of statistics becoming essential in almost all of the disciplines

• A joint degree (minor or major) with statistics increases the students chance of success and finding a job substantially.

• A joint degree (minor or major) with statistics increases the students chance of getting admission and financial support for the graduate programs

• Provides a new career option and help to attract more students to UMM

• Evidence that we have shows that students in other fields (music to biology, German to economics), find statistical training a valuable supplement to their liberal arts education at UMM

2. Statistics and Mathematics:

"Statistics is not mathematics". The recent developments in statistics shows that Statistics uses mathematics, but much closer to the disciplines such as psychology, biology, economics, because of its application aspect. Statistics is a mathematical science, but it is not a field of mathematics. The backgrounds of the statistics faculty at UMM is a perfect example of this trend (economics, biology, city planning). None of the statistics faculty have a degree in mathematics.

• Since statistics and mathematics differs substantially, a statistics major/minor is not equivalent to a mathematics major/minor. The course work required for a concentrated study of statistics cannot be simply added to the existing mathematics major.

3. Practical Considerations:

• The number of students designing areas of concentration and areas of emphasis has been growing over the past few years. (46 areas of concentration and emphasis within the past 7 years, including the projected 12 graduates for the 2000-2001 academic year). Please refer to Table 1 for the number of students graduating from UMM with self designed programs in statistics.

• With this growth the paperwork involved in processing the applications have become a burden for students, faculty, the division chair, the dean for academic affairs, and finally the registrar. Each student application must be signed and processed by each of the previous individuals.

• At this level of student enrollment, we believe the time has come to standardize and simplify this process. This standardization also will give us a chance to evaluate and assess the statistics program on more uniform grounds.

• The program will also help to eliminate many petitions submitted to the Scholastic Committee.

Other Supporting Materials:

A1.

Table 1. Students graduating from UMM with self-designed programs in statistics.

Year

Area of Concentration (Majors)

Areas of Emphasis (Minors)

Total

2000-01

8

4

12

1999-00

3

2

5

1998-99

8

3

11

1997-98

2

6

8

1996-97

3

0

3

1995-96

4

0

4

1994-95

2

0

2

1993-94

1

0

1

A.2. (From the Report on the Review of the Mathematics Discipline of the UMM, 1995)

"The recent development of the statistics track within the mathematics curriculum is exemplary. … (a faculty) was hired to develop a statistics program and … (this faculty) has done very well indeed. The courses seem very modern, data oriented, with ample opportunity for students to work with data on extended projects and with modern software packages. These complement the standard theoretical based sequence in probability and mathematical statistics. It appears to us that students completing this program will be well prepared for graduate school. Some kind of special position for statistics … may be warranted."

A.3. (Statistics is a Liberal Art)

"The main features of a liberal arts education are that it emphasizes general and powerful intellectual methods, it is by nature interdisciplinary, and it promotes good citizenship and a broad world view. … statistics is a liberal art that deserves a prominent position in the liberal arts curriculum. … Statistics, as it is concerned with gathering, organizing, and analyzing data, and with inferring from these data to underlying reality, is a powerful intellectual method that can be applied in many contexts. In academia, statistics is a part of the curriculum in psychology, sociology, biology, and economics, to name but a few disciplines. In industry and government decisions are made that are increasingly dependent upon the collection and interpretation of data and employers are demanding greater quantitative sophistication of the graduates they hire. Indeed, in almost every aspect of our daily lives we are confronted with data and asked to make judgements based on them, about the issues ranging from airline safety to spread of AIDS. H. G. Wells anticipated that statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write. We believe this day has come…"

A.4. (Statistics and Mathematics: Modern Trends)

• Statistics program at the Carnegie-Mellon University which is the leader in modern statistics, housed in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences> Mathematics program in this institution is housed in the Mellon College of Science.

"… (Statistics courses in Liberal Arts colleges), should pay explicit attention to the different kinds of thinking involved in practice of statistics: logical/deductive, computational/algorithmic, graphical/dynamic, verbal/interpretive. In particular, although statistics requires mathematics for the development of its underlying theory, statistics is distinct from mathematics and uses many non-mathematical skills."