These pages provide an overview of the department and its activities for prospective Ph.D. students. Official department policy is contained in the Department of Statistics Graduate Student Handbook, which is available upon request from Chad Schafer, the Director of Graduate Studies.
Thank you for taking a look at the program of graduate studies in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. The field of Statistics has an impact in almost every academic discipline. Our graduates are prepared for and in demand for industrial, academic and government positions.
Our graduate program trains students in basic theory, methodological and computational skills for data analysis, and in interacting with quantitative researchers who have statistical problems they wish to solve. Students who obtain a Master's degree are prepared for jobs in which they might analyze data, design experiments, model random phenomena, and serve as a consultant. They also will have an understanding of the power and limitations of the tools they learn to use. Our Ph.D. curriculum offers comprehensive training in theory, applied statistics, computational methods, and cross-disciplinary research. An important component of the program is year-long data analysis project supervised in part by interested researchers outside of the Department. In addition, we provide students with opportunities for research apprenticeships and other experience with applications.
The Department's reputation is based primarily on the research in theory and methodology conducted by our faculty and students, our strong commitment to cross-disciplinary work, our emphasis on computing in both research and education, and the substantial involvement of our faculty in governmental, professional, and editorial work. One indication of its leadership is the Department's presence on editorial boards of major professional journals. Editorships of the Journal of the American Statistical Association have been held on three occasions by members of our faculty, and Statistical Science, Chance, and the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics were founded by our faculty members. Over the years our faculty have served on the editorial boards of many of the major journals in statistics, biometrics and psychometrics.
Our Department is organized so that students receive a lot of individual attention. All graduate students have daily contact with faculty members; graduate student offices are interspersed among the faculty offices which ensures constant interaction. We have roughly 45 masters and Ph.D. students combined and about 23 faculty members, so class sizes are quite small. As you will see as you browse this web site, the faculty members are very talented and especially enthusiastic about working with students. We try to create a harmonious, non-competitive learning environment for our students. When we accept a student, we do so with the expectation that the student will complete his or her degree program successfully, and we work very hard to help the student achieve that goal.
To support research and teaching, the Department has outstanding computing facilities, which are for the exclusive use of our faculty, students, and staff. The main component is a large network of workstations, which are powerful computers that enable users to edit text, perform numerical calculations, and display graphical output in a time-sharing environment. The department also has a network of processors dedicated to applications requiring parallel processing. All of our graduate students have easy access to all of the computing facilities, and this helps prepare them for the computing challenges they will face in the future.
As you navigate this web site, I hope you will sense the excitement we have about the field of statistics and will begin to appreciate the outstanding group of faculty and students in our Department. You will, no doubt, have questions about our program. I encourage you to call our director of admissions, myself, or any other faculty member with your questions, and if possible, please come to visit us.
The program of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics seeks to strike a balance between theoretical and applied Statistics. The Ph.D. program prepares you for university teaching and research careers, and for industrial and governmental positions involving research in new statistical methods.