April marks a time to increase the understanding and appreciation of mathematics and statistics. Why? Because both subjects play a significant role in addressing many real-world problems, both large and small.

Below, ASA members discuss how they use statistics in their work and offer resources to engage you in thinking about how statistics touches your world. Take a few minutes to check out where and how they use statistics in their professional lives.

On the other end of the spectrum, two information designers applied statistical thinking to some of the most mundane details of their lives to create Dear Data, a book of graphs that illustrate how life is full of data, both mundane and magical. We invite you to visit our Dear Data contest page to learn how you can map the details of your life and possibly win a prize while you’re at it.

Thank you for celebrating Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month with us!



We Are Statistics!

 
 

Jeri Mulrow, ASA vice president, explains, “Statistics is the best area to be in because statistics are everywhere! They are all around us in our daily lives. It is important to be able to think critically about all of the data and information that surround us. Statistics and statistical thinking help us to make sense out of all of it.”

Jeri suggests investigating Visualizations

 
 
 

Hadley Wickham, chief data scientist at R Studio says, “Statistics is an important tool in the data analysis/science toolbox. Statistics provides a coherent framework for thinking about random variation, and tools to partition data into signal and noise.”

Hadley suggests investigating The New York Times Upshot

 
 
 

Mary Kwasny, associate professor of preventive medicine-biostatistics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says, “When I talk about my work, I commonly say that statisticians help the architects of society by building scaffolds. The field of statistics lends the support to many other fields—science, business, government—to make their structures taller and stronger.”

Mary suggests investigating Gapminder

 
 
 

Jo Hardin, professor and chair in the department of mathematics and statistics at Pomona College, says, “Statistics is using data and knowledge about randomness to condense, communicate, and contextualize information and provide insight into the setting from which the data came.”

Learn about Jo’s research