Trends in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences in the United States
Lawrence H. Cox, Therese A. Hart, and James A. Voytuk
Mathematics and statistics have similar characteristics from an academic perspective, but different images from a professional point of view. While strong independent departments of statistics or statistical sciences exist, mathematics or mathematical sciences departments offer statistics, sometimes as a regular degree program, but usually as a sub-discipline of mathematics or as a collection of service courses. Both disciplines of mathematics and statistics are subject to some of the same forces and display some similar trends in the people who study and teach in these areas. These trends include under-representations of women and certain minority groups, increasing lower-level enrollment, a slow growing or static faculty size with a large anticipated retirement rate, and static (or declining) number of new degree holders at all levels. The demand for mathematically and statistically prepared people has increased remarkably in the last ten years – a trend that is projected to continue into the next century. An investigation of the academic preparation and socioeconomic backgrounds of students now in the educational “pipeline”, and the changing demographics of the population reveal a serious problem in meeting the demands, both for professionally trained people and for a broad, high level of quantitative literacy.
Demographics of the statistical profession; statistical education; teaching.