Posted by: thebylog | May 8, 2006

What I Study, Part 1

Generally speaking, there are two fairly distinct types of graduate statistics courses at Penn State. I’ll call them the applied stream and the theoretical stream.

In the applied stream, one studies how to apply accepted statistical methods to real-world data. If you were going to analyze poll results, or set up a clinical trial in a pharmaceutical context, or work in quality control in a manufacturing setting, you would use skills gleaned from these courses.

In the theoretical stream, one doesn’t so much study statistical methods as much as studying how one would derive such methods. You learn about probability, the mathematical foundation of statistics, as well as statistical concepts upon which the discipline is built. The theoretical side is aimed to give you a skill set which would allow you to make further advances in statistical theory or develop new methods based on current theory.

Next Time: Regression Analysis and Modeling



  1. I’m looking forward to hearing of regression analysis. I’ve actually used that in my accounting classes.

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