Statistics has a theoretical core surrounded by a large number of domains of application in diverse fields, including economics, psychology, biology and medicine, sociology, population sciences, government, anthropology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, engineering, and computer science. At Brown, graduate training in Biostatistics is available in the Department of Community Health and in Mathematical Statistics in the Division of Applied Mathematics. In addition, several other Departments are offering introductory and even advanced courses in statistical methodology, including the Departments of Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science and Computer Science.
The Undergraduate Concentration in Statistics, established in 1997, is an interdepartmental program, administered by the Center for Statistical Science and leading to the Sc.B. degree. It is supervised by a faculty program committee, representing all interested departments. The program is constructed on several premises: that statistics is a scientific discipline in its own right, with its characteristic methodology and body of knowledge; that it is essentially concerned with the art and science of the analysis of data; and that it is best taught in conjunction with specific, substantive applications. To this end, the concentration is designed to provide a foundation of basic concepts and methodology, requiring students to take core courses in the discipline itself, and to expose students to a cross-section of statistical applications, through courses (of their own selection and subject to approval) in the social, biological and natural sciences. In a senior honors thesis, each student will be required to carry out a major project of statistical data analysis in one of these disciplines. The Concentration prepares students for careers in industry and government, for graduate study in statistics or biostatistics and other sciences, as well as for professional study in law, medicine, business, or public administration.