I graduated from Rose-Hulman in 2006 with a BS in Mathematics and Economics. After four years of Rose, I did what my roommates considered insane…signed up for another five years of school! When I began at Rose, graduate school was the last thing on my mind. When my professor for Real Analysis suggested that I consider graduate school, I thought he was crazy. During the end of my junior year and throughout my senior year, Dr. Inlow and Dr. Evans continued to show me the range of neat problems in statistics and its variety of applications. Now, here I am – a second year graduate student in the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University. It just goes to show you that occasionally your professors know more than you think!
The great thing about statistics is that the terrain changes every day. The applications of statistical methodology can be found in any field. In just my two years as a graduate student, I have had the opportunity to work with researchers in Horticulture, Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Management, Infectious Disease, and Cardiology. Each problem and application is unique.
My area of concentration is biostatistics. As part of a class research assignment, my wife (who is also in the department here) and I have been investigating the application of Bayesian interval estimation to matched-pairs designs with a binary response. In English, suppose that you asked a group of people, prior to a debate, if they support a candidate (yes/no), and then asked the same group if they support the candidate following the debate, with the hope of determining if the debate improved support for the candidate. The proportion responding “yes” prior to, and the proportion of responding “yes” following the debate are related. So, how do you construct a good range of your best estimate to the ratio of those proportions? While a political example, this type of design is used heavily in industry and the medical field. This research required us to use probability theory, calculus, real analysis, computer programming and statistical methodology.
I can’t be happier with my career choice, and the preparation I received at Rose, both in statistics and pure mathematics, has opened up more doors than I could have imagined because you are only as good a statistician as you are a mathematician (Ann Oberg, Mayo Clinic).