The first inkling I had that statisticians could be the opposite of dull was last spring at Stanford's Cancer Institute retreat. I was listening to the keynote speaker and thinking: (1) A statistician for the keynote? I hope I can keep my eyes open; and (2) What he's saying is revolutionary! The speaker was Donald Berry, PhD, from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, describing how to do clinical trials that get answers far quicker than traditional trials can. The audience was charged up - popping with questions during and after the talk.
Once I started paying attention, I noticed those "boring" statisticians were doing some of the coolest research we cover here, and that they're changing the paradigm for drug discovery - or at least creating a new one.
Now my suspicions are confirmed.
"Most of my life I went to parties and heard a little groan when people heard what I did," says Robert Tibshirani, a statistics professor at Stanford University. "Now they're all excited to meet me."
The piece continues:
It’s not because of a new after-shave. Arcane statistical analysis, the business of making sense of our growing data mountains, has become high tech’s hottest calling.
To find out about the statistics boom, including what starting salaries for statistics grads are, and how hard it has become to get into Stanford's statistics graduate program, read the whole piece.