ASA Newsroom > Which Industries Employ Statisticians?

Computer Science

Arnold Goodman and Padhraic Smyth, UCI

Computer science uses statistics in many ways to guarantee products available on the market are accurate, reliable, and helpful. The following terms and definitions are a brief listing of areas in computer science that use statistics to varying degrees at various times.

Data Mining is the analysis of information in a database, using tools that look for trends or irregularities in large data sets.

Data Compression is the coding of data using compact formulas, called algorithms, and utilities to save storage space or transmission time.

Speech Recognition is the identification of spoken words by a machine. The spoken words are turned into a sequence of numbers and matched against coded dictionaries.

Vision and Image Analyses use statistics to solve contemporary and practical problems in computer vision, image processing, and artificial intelligence.

Human/Computer Interaction uses statistics to design, implement, and evaluate new technologies that are useable, useful, and appealing to a broad cross-section of people.

Network/Traffic Modeling uses statistics to avoid network congestion while fully exploiting the available bandwidth.

Stochastic Optimization uses chance and probability models to develop the most efficient code for finding the solution to a problem.

Stochastic Algorithms follow a detailed sequence of actions to perform or accomplish a task in the face of uncertainty.

Artificial Intelligence is concerned with modeling aspects of human thought on computers.

Machine Learning is the ability of a machine or system to improve its performance based on previous results.

Capacity Planning determines what equipment and software will be sufficient while providing the most power for the least cost.

Storage and Retrieval techniques rely on statistics to ensure computerized data is kept and recovered efficiently and reliably.

Quality Management uses statistics to analyze the condition of manufactured parts (hardware, software, etc.) using tools and sampling to ensure a minimum level of defects.

Software Engineering is a systematic approach to the analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance of computer programs.

Performance Evaluation is the process of examining a system or system component to determine the extent to which specified properties are present.

Hardware Manufacturing is the creation of the physical material parts of a system, such as the monitor or disk drive.

Statistics is essential to the field of computer science in ensuring effectiveness, efficiency, reliability, and high-quality products for the public.

*Definitions from the Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing