I was told there was no future in being a Statistician

That was 1979. I had been a consultant in computational statistics for 7 years. It was a great job as I worked at a university in the role of “senior teaching fellow” assisting staff and research students with their statistical design.

University life in a different era

I also completed — part-time — an MSc in Computing Science by thesis. My supervisor had the room next to me and was a nice human being. I asked him once why he’d never made professor, as he seemed as smart as the others I dealt with regularly.

They’ll never know — zombie hypotheses roaming freely

The most interesting part of the job — statistically speaking — was the number of PhD students and researchers who came to me to assist them to validate a pre-defined outcome — their hypothesis.

Sometimes we’d go non-parametric

At this point, I’d ask them if they would like a second opinion. It so happened that at this university one of the Professors of Computing Science had previously been a Professor of Statistics — a guy named John Burr. He was a likeable Disney-style professor, and I had developed an easy-going relationship with him.

Close the door — I’ll tell you a secret

How about the ones who resisted their data? What was my prognosis for them?

The jobs are all taken

As for jobs for statisticians — all taken.

Optimistically curious, 70+ trail runner; 2X cancer; diabetic; Click “FOLLOW” for living longer better tips | Weekly Newsletter 👉 wja.is/newsletter

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store