Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
November 9, 2017, 12:17PM

Brain-related disorders impact almost everyone, either directly or through family or friends. For many of the disorders, whether they’re psychiatric or neurological, there are basic scientific descriptions and valuable treatment options, but none has a satisfactory cure because the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood.

The federal government launched the BRAIN Initiative in 2013 to ignite the development and application of new technologies needed for major advances toward understanding the brain. Carnegie Mellon University’s Rob Kass believes brain research is in desperate need of cutting-edge statistics, which can and should supply a crucial link between new, highly complex data and the thorough scientific explanations the research aims to generate.

As the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies’ 2017 R.A Fisher Lecturer, Kass outlined his case in “The Importance of Statistics: Lessons From the Brain Sciences.”

“Most people have no idea how advanced statistical thinking can elevate research and accelerate scientific discovery,” said Kass, Rob Kassthe Maurice Falk Professor of Statistics and Computational...

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