Welcome to the web site of the Statistics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (GIDP) at The University of Arizona. Here you will find information about our graduate program, the science of statistics, and links to useful resources.

  • The GIDP in Statistics here at the University of Arizona is an interdisciplinary training program designed to focus and enhance statistical training and research across the UA campus. We administer both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (regular track and statistical informatics track options) , as well as a Ph.D. Minor and a 12-unit Graduate Certificate, in Statistics which includes a fully online Certificate program option. The primary foundations for the Program exist dually in the Department of Mathematics and in the Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics. Faculty in Mathematics contribute theoretical and methodological expertise in statistics through course offerings, student mentoring/advising, and statistical research collaborations. Similar contributions come from Faculty in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, where the focus is on biostatistical research derived from practical applications in the biosciences. This results in extensive coordination across the campus' statistical/biostatistical graduate curricula, course offerings, student involvement, and in the overall support of the GIDP's mission.
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  • Overall faculty expertise in the Program spans a wide range of topics, examples of which include bioinformatics, biostatistics, classification and regression trees, computational biology, data mining and visualization, econometrics, environmetrics, network analysis, population & quantitative genetics, and quantitative risk assessment. GIDP graduate students develop core knowledge in statistical theory and methodology, but also gain experience in practical, trans-disciplinary research; approximately one-third of their graduate program is devoted to a chosen, subject-matter specialization. Areas for this specialization center on current faculty interests and expertise, and include the topics mentioned above. Through these offerings the GIDP in Statistics promotes University-wide activities in the broad areas of both theoretical and applied, interdisciplinary statistics. This available Slide Presentation gives a short overview of our program; also see our University Showcase video, produced in 2006. Prospective students who wish to learn more about the program may also visit the Admissions section at the Graduate College website.

Opportunities in Statistics

  • Put simply, statistics is the science of data. It employs mathematical relationships about probability and uncertainty to understand the underlying phenomena, and is an exciting area of growth in our modern society:

Statistics in the Internet age is an active, computer-intensive endeavor. We live in an "Age of Big Data", where vast amounts of social networking, remote sensing, and consumer activity data await in- depth examination and analysis. Statisticians combine mathematical and statistical modeling with powerful computer technologies to "mine" these data for new patterns.

The modern digital data surge drives society's need for statistical analysts: "It's like an arms race to hire statisticians nowadays,” says Andreas Weigend, former chief scientist at Amazon.com. “Mathematicians are suddenly sexy” (New York Times, How Companies Learn Your Secrets). This echos comments made by Google's chief economist Hal Varian, “I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians, ... and I'm not kidding” (New York Times, For Today's Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics).

A 2011 Jobs Rated report, rated "Statistician" as the "4th best job in the U.S.". A similar 4th best job ranking was achieved in a CNBC report on the "The Best Jobs in America 2011." Both studies focused on strong future hiring outlooks for statistics graduates in the job market.

An earlier 2010 Wall Street Journal article highlighted the need for "more workers with stronger backgrounds in statistics" in the high-tech labor market, while a 2009 report from SmartMoney.com a degree in Statistics ranked among the top 5 majors that can get you a job.

A similar report from PayScale.com showed that Statistics graduates also earn competitive salaries: a degree in Statistics ranked as 11th highest in median salary at mid-career (defined as 10 years from acquisition of the bachelor's degree) among over 70 different majors/fields of study.

  • Statistical analysis provides guidance in determining what information is reliable from observed data and which predictions can be trusted; this is useful in a broad variety of fields, including medicine, government, education, agriculture, business, and law. Professional statisticians act as true data scientists: they use such analyses to search for the solution of a scientific mystery, and sometimes keep investigators from being misled by false impressions. Their efforts impact the development of surveys and censuses, the progression of scientific research, how governments operate, and how business and industry quantify uncertainty in order to optimize resources.

GIDP Statistics News

  • Congratulations to Statistics students Dominic Laroche and Brian Mannakee for receiving National Science Foundation's Gradaute Research Fellowships!
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  • January 2013, The Arizona Daily Star features an article, "Learn the math, learn to apply it: Take on exciting important questions," writen by our own program Chair, Dr. Joseph C. Watkins!
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  • MSNBC says being a Statastician is rated as one of the top five best jobs to have in this economy!  http://msnbc.msn.com-new5.us/jobs/  We're accepting applications for the fall 2013 semester now!  http://grad.arizona.edu/
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  • The GIDP will matriculate its newest class of graduate students this Fall! We are thrilled to welcome Ph.D. students Kurt Michels from Montana State University, Donelle Mickevicius from our own University of Arizona, and Michael Sohn from the University Of Nevada–Las Vegas, and M.S. students Zhenrui Wang and Chi Yuan from here at UA, to our graduate training program. In addition, four new students will undertake studies towards the GIDP’s Graduate Certificate in Statistics: Jun He, Warren Smith, Juan Raygoza Garay, and Bole Yang. We welcome all our new graduate students to their adventure in interdisciplinary statistics!
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  • The GIDP is pleased to announce that four new faculty members will join us in Fall 2011: Drs. Hao (Helen) Zhang and Sunder Sethuraman come to UA's Department of Mathematics as Associate Professors. Prof. Zhang's expertise is in machine learning, data mining, and nonparametric regression, while Prof. Sethuraman studies probability theory and interacting particle systems. Drs. Tiemen Woutersen and Derek M. Lemoine join UA's Department of Economics as Assistant Professors. Prof. Woutersen studies econometrics and labor economics, while Prof. Lemoine researches econometric decsion theory, ecological economics, and climate change. We welcome Drs. Zhang, Woutersen, Sethuraman, and Lemoine to campus!
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  • The following GIDP faculty members have earned academic promotions, and now serve in the following capacities: Katherine Y. Barnes is Professor of Law; Noel A. Card is Associate Professor of Family Studies & Human Development; Sandy Dall'Erba is Associate Professor of Geography & Regional Development; Gautam Gowrisankaran is Professor of Economics; Chiu-Hsieh (Paul) Hsu is Associate Professor of Public Health; Joanna Monti-Masel is Associate Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Robert J. Steidl is Professor of Natural Resources. We extend our heartiest congratulations to Drs. Barnes, Card, Dall'Erba, Gowrisankaran, Hsu, Monti-Masel, and Steidl!
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  • GIDP member Derek Lemoine’s research on management of climate change has shown that by combining policies that clean carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with those aimed at reducing emissions, atmospheric CO2 concentrations can be decreased faster than by natural processes alone. The work opens up a variety of further strategies for managing complex climate systems. Great job Dr. Lemoine!
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  • GIDP member Walter W. Piegorsch is one of the first in the nation to gain accreditation as a Professional Statistician (or PStat®) from the American Statistical Association. The Accreditation Program was created in 2010 to authenticate practitioners’ statistical training and knowledge, experience in applying statistical expertise, commitment to ethical standards of statistical practice, and ability to communicate effectively. The new program serves to benchmark levels of professional development expected of practicing statisticians.
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  • Past GIDP News Releases:
  • Fall 2011
  • Fall 2010
  • Fall 2009
  • Spring 2009
  • Fall 2008
  • Fall 2007

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Useful Links

  • The American Statistical Association (ASA),, founded in 1839, is one of the oldest professional organizations in the United States. Sections are organized within the Association on the basis of subject matter interest in specialized fields. Student membership in the ASA is available; join online. Membership includes a subscription to the newsletter The AMSTAT News and (upon election) one or more journals, e.g., the prestigious Journal of the American Statistical Association (JASA) or the ASA student publication Stats. The AMSTAT News is the news periodical of the Association and includes articles on current events affecting statisticians, discussions of professional problems, job listings, and information concerning members and Association activities. JASA publishes selected papers on theoretical and applied aspects of statistics as well as comprehensive reviews of books bearing on the field of statistics. In Stats, articles often discuss career information, student experiences, current problems, and interesting case studies.
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  • The International Biometric Society (IBS) was organized in 1947 for the promotion and development of statistical and mathematical theory and methods in the biosciences, including agriculture, biomedical science & public health, ecology, environmental sciences, forestry, and allied disciplines. The Society is an international collective, organized by geographic region: persons living in the United States belong either to the Eastern or Western North American Regions (ENAR or WNAR). Student memberships (in WNAR) are available; see the WNAR website at http://www.wnar.org, or the larger IBS website at http://www.tibs.org. The official organ of the Biometric Society is the prestigious journal Biometrics, subscription to which can be included with membership in the society. The IBS also co-sponsors publication of the interdisciplinary Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics (JABES).
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  • The International Environmetric Society (TIES) was organized in 1993, and aims to foster the development and use of statistical and other quantitative methods in the environmental sciences, environmental engineering, and environmental monitoring and protection. The society publishes a regular Newsletter, along with the journal Environmetrics to disseminate multidisciplinary research on the development and application of quantitative methods in the environmental sciences. Student membership in TIES is FREE, and includes an electronic version of the TIES Newsletter.
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  • The Econometric Society, founded in 1930, is an international society dedicated to the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. The Society publishes the world-reknowned journal Econometrica and a monograph series in economic theory, econometrics, and quantitative economics. It also organizes scientific meetings in six regions of the world, including a World Congress every five years.
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  • The International Statistical Institute (ISI) is one of the oldest international scientific associations in the world. Its first congresses were convened in 1853, and it was formally established in 1885. The Institute is an autonomous society, which seeks to develop and improve statistical methods and their application through the promotion of international activity and co-operation. A biennial scientific "Session" is held in odd years, and often brings together thousands of statisticians from the international community. The official publication of the ISI is the International Statistical Review, although the institute also produces or supports a wide variety of other statistical publications. Membership is by election only at present, although students and others interested in the ISI can join one of the many ISI Sections.
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  • The Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) is an international organization founded in 1935 to further research, teaching and development of applications in the field of mathematical statistics. The IMS publishes a monthly Bulletin, the renowned review journal Statistical Science, and a series of Annals: the Annals of Statistics, the Annals of Applied Statistics, the Annals of Probability, and the Annals of Applied Probability. Student membership in the IMS is FREE and includes a subscription to the Bulletin and one of the Annals. (Additional subscriptions are available at reduced cost.) StatSci.Org is an online portal for statistical sciences, and includes web links for statistical associations, news groups, journals, teaching, computing, and research.