Writer: Spencer Allen
The Department of Mathematics is now offering Statistics as a minor. Instructors in the department are convinced this new addition will better prepare students for graduate school, the work place, or both.
"With everything going on in the world and statistics often quoted, it's better to be informed. If we can teach our students and help them become more critical thinkers - even if they don't further their studies in statistics, just understanding how to interpret stats - that will be a great achievement for us," said Bonnie Moon, instructor in the department.
To meet the requirements needed to offer the minor, the department added four statistically-based classes. The additional courses include Intermediate Statistics, Experimental Methods, Bayesian Statistics, and Applied Linear Regression.
Incorporating these classes isn't the only thing the department has done to help students improve their understanding of statistics. The department recently supplemented SPSS, an older computer program, with a powerful statistics package called "R." One of the great benefits of "R" is not only that it was free, but also that it applies students' understanding of statistics with real-world applications. The exposure gained from this program will ease the transition to the job market or grad school.
To date, seven students have enrolled in the minor. That number is expected to grow as the minor continues to gain exposure among other departments.