Today's era has witnessed an explosive growth in the amount of data collected, and there has been a realization that these massive data sets ("big data'') are reservoirs of valuable information that can be used not only for research purposes but also for direct applications and for sound decision-making. The extraction of the useful parts from big data and the analysis and interpretation of its contents require skills and knowledge in certain areas of the mathematical and computer sciences, specifically in machine learning, data mining and statistics.
Apart from being a vital component in exploiting big data, statistical expertise is also essential in virtually all scientific organizations, large business enterprises and government agencies. The ability to analyze and make sense of data, big or small, by means of statistical techniques is critical in ensuring that the conclusions reached and the decisions made are based on valid empirical evidence.
Western's B.S. degree in Statistics is organized around a core course of study in probability and statistics that provides students with a background in the fundamentals of statistical thought and the application of the most common types of statistical analyses. In addition, our elective classes offer our students the opportunity to have at their disposal a diverse toolkit of analysis techniques and modeling choices that can be used to make sense of information coming from a breadth of different data types.
Beyond the Classroom
Outside of the classroom, you can stay involved with mathematics by working in the Math Center (staffed by undergraduate Math Fellows, it is a great place to get help with homework, meet other students, and form study groups), joining the Putnam Exam group, or participating in the Math Modeling Competition or the Kryptos Cryptography Competition. You might also work on a research or independent study project with faculty.
Careers and Graduate Studies
Statistics provides the reasoning and methods for producing and understanding data. One advantage of working in statistics is that you can combine your interest with almost any other field in science, technology, or business.
Many graduates will choose to pursue graduate programs in statistics, biostatistics, computational biology, finance or the social sciences or seek employment in such industries as:
- Health Care
- Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
- Medical Research
- Data Analyst
- Risk Manager
- Analytics Manager
- Financial Analyst
- Business Analyst