Posted by: thebylog | May 23, 2006

What I Study: Theory of Statistics I & II

A Professor at Oregon State once told me that you learn statistics a layer at a time. You might start in undergrad with a course introducing you to statistical theory. Then in graduate school you do it again, this time covering more topics and each of the topics more comprehensively. Then before you get out of grad school, you take other courses, each focusing more deeply upon the theory of any of a number of areas in statistics.

The theory that I learned this year was at that second level. But what did we study, you ask. Hmm…

Think of it like this. Any legitimate statistical method you may want to use is propped up by theory. The applied courses I told you about here and here? They didn’t just come out of nowhere. Much of the nuts and bolts of the material is true because the theory is true.

And think of it like this too. If you designed bridges, it would probably help to understand the physics of a bridge. Well, the theory that we learn is sort of like the physics of statistics.

If you want to be a research statistician, then, you have to understand the theoretical foundations upon which statistics is built! That’s what we started to learn this year.

But that doesn’t really tell you what we studied, does it. Well, let me just say one thing more.

Amy rocks my world.


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