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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium MODERN INTERDISCIPLINARY UNIVERSITY STATISTICS EDUCATION Proceedings of a Symposium Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics Board on Mathematical Sciences Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1994
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The National Research Council established the Board on Mathematical Sciences in 1984. The objectives of the Board are to maintain awareness and active concern for the health of the mathematical sciences and serve as the focal point in the National Research Council for issues connected with the mathematical sciences. In addition, the Board is designed to conduct studies for federal agencies and maintain liaison with the mathematical sciences communities and academia, professional societies, and industry. Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMS-9221287. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 94-65037 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05033-2 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press, Box 285 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) B-286 Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium COMMITTEE ON APPLIED AND THEORETICAL STATISTICS JON R. KETTENRING, Bell Communications Research, Chair YVONNE BISHOP, U.S. Department of Energy MARY ELLEN BOCK, Purdue University CLIFFORD C. CLOGG, Pennsylvania State University MARJORIE G. HAHN, Tufts University DOUGLAS M. HAWKINS, University of Minnesota DAVID G. HOEL, Medical University of South Carolina KARL E. PEACE, Biopharmaceutical Research Consultants STEPHEN M. POLLOCK, University of Michigan DARYL PREGIBON, AT&T Bell Laboratories Staff JOHN R. TUCKER, Senior Program Officer
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium BOARD ON MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Chair JEROME SACKS, National Institute of Statistical Sciences, Vice-Chair LOUIS AUSLANDER, City University of New York System HYMAN BASS, Columbia University LAWRENCE D. BROWN, Cornell University AVNER FRIEDMAN, University of Minnesota JOHN F. GEWEKE, University of Minnesota JAMES GLIMM, State University of New York at Stony Brook GERALD J. LIEBERMAN, Stanford University PAUL S. MUHLY, University of Iowa RONALD F. PEIERLS, Brookhaven National Laboratory DONALD ST. P. RICHARDS, University of Virginia KAREN K. UHLENBECK, University of Texas at Austin MARY F. WHEELER, Rice University ROBERT J. ZIMMER, University of Chicago Ex Officio Member JON R. KETTENRING, Bell Communications Research Chair, Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics Staff JOHN E. LAVERY, Director RUTH E. O"BRIEN, Staff Associate JOHN R. TUCKER, Senior Program Officer BARBARA WRIGHT, Administrative Assistant
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS RICHARD N. ZARE, Stanford University, Chair RICHARD S. NICHOLSON, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vice-Chair STEPHEN L. ADLER, Institute for Advanced Study JOHN A. ARMSTRONG, IBM Corporation (retired) SYLVIA T. CEYER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology AVNER FRIEDMAN, University of Minnesota SUSAN L. GRAHAM, University of California at Berkeley ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation HANS MARK, University of Texas at Austin CLAIRE E. MAX, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory CHRISTOPHER F. McKEE, University of California at Berkeley JAMES W. MITCHELL, AT&T Bell Laboratories JEROME SACKS, National Institute of Statistical Sciences A. RICHARD SEEBASS III, University of Colorado at Boulder CHARLES P. SLICHTER, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ALVIN W. TRIVELPIECE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium Competent statisticians will be front line troops in our war for survival — but how do we get them? I think there is now a wide readiness to agree that what we want are neither mere theorem provers nor mere users of a cookbook. A proper balance of theory and practice is needed and, more important, statisticians must learn to be good scientists, a talent which has to be acquired by experience and example. —George E. P. Box, "Science and Statistics"
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium Preface At its August 1992 meeting in Boston, the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics (CATS) noted widespread sentiment in the statistical community that upper-level undergraduate and graduate curricula for statistics majors and postdoctoral training for statisticians are currently structured in ways that do not provide sufficient exposure to modern statistical analysis, computational and graphical tools, communication skills, and the evergrowing interdisciplinary uses of statistics. Approaches and materials once considered standard are being rethought. The growth that statistics has undergone is often not reflected in the education that future statisticians receive. There is a need to incorporate more meaningfully into the curriculum the computational and graphical tools that are today so important to many professional statisticians. There is a need for improved training of statistics students in written and oral communication skills, which are crucial for effective interaction with scientists and policy makers. More realistic experience is needed in various application areas for which statistics is now a key to further progress. In response to this sentiment, CATS initiated a project on modern interdisciplinary university statistics education. With support from the National Science Foundation, CATS organized and held a one-and-one-half-day symposium on that topic in conjunction with the August 1993 San Francisco Joint Statistical Meetings. The symposium's focus was what changes in statistics education are needed to (1) incorporate interdisciplinary training into the upper-undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral statistics programs, (2) bring the upper-undergraduate and graduate statistics curricula up to date, and (3) improve apprenticing of statistics graduate and postdoctoral students and appropriately reward faculty mentors. These proceedings have been compiled to capture the timely and important presentations and discussions that took place at that symposium. It should be noted that the opinions expressed in this volume are those of the speakers or discussants and do not necessarily represent the views of CATS or of the National Research Council. It is hoped that these presentations and discussions will not only initiate a process of long overdue change in upper-undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral education for statisticians, but will also stimulate the incorporation of interdisciplinary experience and realistic apprenticing in the nation's programs for statistical science majors, advanced degree candidates, and postdoctoral students. It is also hoped that this changing of the nation's statistics education programs will benefit the nation in a larger sense by serving as a model for other disciplines, such as mathematics and the sciences, to emulate.
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium Contents Opening Remarks John R. Tucker, National Research Council 1 PART I What the Customer Needs in Statisticians Session Chair: Jerome Sacks, National Institute of Statistical Sciences What Industry Needs Jon R. Kettenring, Bell Communications Research 5 What Academia Needs Peter J. Bickel, University of California at Berkeley 10 What the Government Needs N. Phillip Ross, Environmental Protection Agency 14 A Larger Perspective John C. Bailar III, McGill University 18 Discussion 21 The Content of Courses, and Educational Experiences: What Should They Be to Address the Customer's Needs? Session Chair: James M. Landwehr, AT&T Bell Laboratories Educating Statisticians for the 21st Century H. Jean Thiebaux, National Science Foundation 27 Modernizing Statistics PhD Programs John Lehoczky, Carnegie Mellon University 31 Respondent Joan B. Garfield, University of Minnesota 41
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Modern Interdisciplinary University Statistics Education: Proceedings of a Symposium Respondent Carl N. Morris, Harvard University 47 Discussion 52 PART II Some International Perspectives S. Rao Jammalamadaka, University of California at Santa Barbara 61 Discussion 67 How — and How Not — to Implement Content and Experiences Session Chair: Daniel L. Solomon, North Carolina State University A University Statistics Program Based on Quality Principles Edward D. Rothman, University of Michigan 72 Chance: A Course About Current Chance News J. Laurie Snell, Dartmouth College 86 Modernizing Graduate Programs in Statistics — Case Study Prem K. Goel, Ohio State University 91 Respondent What Is Interdisciplinary Research? Stephen E. Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University 98 Respondent Ronald A. Thisted, University of Chicago 110 Discussion 117 Appendices A Speakers and Session Chairs 131 B Symposium Participants 137