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Published February 16, 2023
The University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Physical Sciences’ Department of Mathematics and Statistics recently hosted the annual meeting of the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA).
The purpose of the event was to build collaborations among statisticians and data scientists in southeast Wyoming and along the Front Range. Presentations focused on the use of data science and statistical analysis in conservation and management; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); income segregation; health records; election challenges; nonprofit donor classification; applications in Adtech; and polymerase chain reaction diagnostic testing. Participants had the opportunity to meet students, faculty and professionals in various mathematics and statistics fields.
The meeting was co-organized by UW Professor Tim Robinson; Eugenie Jackson, supervisor of research with the software company Equivant; and Matt Pocernich, a principal data scientist with Oracle.
Employers in attendance included Trihydro Corp., SAS Institute, UW’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Oracle, Thoughtworks, RevGen Partners, Ever.Ag, Truveta, Equivant and Reddit.
“It was fantastic seeing the spectrum of experience in the room,” says Nathan Aagard, a UW alumnus with a master’s degree in statistics. “There were graduate students who had just dipped their toes into statistics, professors from the statistics department and professionals from the field -- all sitting shoulder to shoulder -- and discussing their work in statistics and showcasing meaningful projects.”
Current statistics master’s degree candidate Allie Midkiff, from Liberty, Mo., says the meeting was a wonderful educational experience.
“The event gave students, like me, the incredible opportunity to hear about all sorts of interesting applications of statistics,” Midkiff says. “I am lucky to be a part of a program that is so dedicated to providing opportunities for students.”
Fellow statistics master’s degree candidate Sandra Biller, from Glen Gardner, N.J., praises the real-world applications featured in the presentations.
“The meeting was a great way for me to learn more about how statistics are being used in different fields and industries to add insight to real-world issues,” Biller says. “I loved the wide range of topics that were covered and especially the chance to connect with the local statistics community.”
During the meeting, statistics master’s degree candidate Danny Burns, from Wall Township, N.J., presented his work with the Wyoming Department of Health’s WIC program.
“It was really great to meet and network with fellow student and professional statisticians and data scientists from around the area,” Burns says. “This meeting provided me a great opportunity to get experience presenting in front of a group with diverse interests and helped me learn a lot about effective communication.”
Other UW students who participated were Joe Crane, of Lander; Daiven Francis, of Bar Nunn; Dan Hintz, of Tauranga, New Zealand; and Oisin O’Gailin, of Donegal, Ireland.
Robinson was pleased with the event’s turnout.
“Being able to host the Wyoming-Colorado winter meeting in Laramie and to attract so many companies to our great campus was terrific for our students and department,” Robinson says. “Our statistics students have been highly successful in landing great jobs, and it is essential that we provide opportunities for our students to meet and interact with professionals in our discipline. I’m grateful for the sponsorship of this event by the Wyoming-Colorado ASA chapter. They have been wanting to have a meeting in Laramie, and they provided a great deal of support to make it happen.”
To learn more about UW’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, visit www.uwyo.edu/mathstats/.
About the American Statistical Association
The ASA is the world’s largest community of statisticians. It is the second-oldest, continuously operating professional association in the country. The association’s mission is to promote the practice and profession of statistics and data science. Its vision is a world that relies on data and statistical thinking to drive discovery and decisions. Since it was founded in Boston in 1839, the ASA has supported excellence in the development, application and dissemination of statistical science. ASA members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare.
To learn more about the association, visit www.amstat.org.