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History of The Department of Statistics

A Brief Summary

Statistics at the University of Georgia (UGA) evolved from a few courses in several programs in the 1940’s to an interdisciplinary Institute of Statistics in the 1950’s and then to a formal Department of Statistics in 1964. While the Department of Statistics at UGA has seen many changes over the years, it has consistently housed faculty who have played leading roles in national and international statistical activities. Throughout its history, the Department has maintained a highly-rated graduate program and an active undergraduate program which has awarded 152 Ph.D. degrees, 544 master’s degrees, and 493 bachelor’s degrees from 1964 to 2010. It has taught the vast majority of statistics courses on campus, and has a long history of activity in collaborative research and statistical consulting. While its size has changed dramatically compared to the early years, more recent changes in the numbers of faculty and students have been modest, with the most notable change being the increased size of majors and co-majors in the undergraduate program. The department currently houses 18 tenure track faculty, 6 non-tenure track faculty, about 70 graduate students and about 50 undergraduate majors. This article will trace the history of the Department over a 70 year period and will highlight selected developments during this period. Much of the early history was obtained from an extensive set of notes by A. Clifford Cohen, who was a faculty member at UGA from 1947-1978 and an active Professor Emeritus until his death in 1997. Program reviews and annual reports provided much of the departmental data for the seven decades of this history. Acknowledgment We are grateful to staff in the Department for their help with collecting materials on which this brief history is based. We are also grateful to faculty, referees and the Editors for their helpful input on earlier drafts. Corrections and updates will be maintained on the Department’s website.

With kind permission from Springer Science+Business Media: <Strength in Numbers: The Rising of Academic Statistics Departments in the U.S., A Brief History of the Department of Statistics at the University of Georgia, 2013,381-393, John Stufken and Robert L. Taylor, editors Alan Agresti and Xiao-Li Meng>

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