Department of Statistics at Penn State Offers New Master of Applied Statistics Degree Program
24 October 2001 -- A grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has allowed the Depatment of Statistics in the Eberly College of Science to offer a new degree program, the Master of Applied Statistics (M.A.S.).
"The Master of Applied Statistics program is intended for students who are mostly interested in the practical side of statistics and who have earned a bachelors degree in the agricultural, biological, or social sciences; business, computer or information science; engineering; mathematics; or the physical sciences," says James L. Rosenberger, professor and head of the Penn State Department of Statistics. The program, which also is suitable for professionals who handle data in their current positions, aims to provide its graduates with statistics skills highly sought after by such employers as government agencies, consulting firms, and industrial companies. "Rather than being an 'off-ramp' from the road to the Ph.D. degree," says Jogesh Babu, professor of statistics and the professor in charge of the M.A.S. program, "the M.A.S. program will provide training in statistics focused on developing data-analysis skills and exploration of all core areas of applied statistics, without digressing too deeply into the foundations of mathematical statistics. The program is built on our extensive existing repertoire of graduate-level applied-statistics courses to provide it with a very strong foundation."
Mosuk Chow, associate professor of statistics and the program director of the M.A.S. program, adds, "In this new information age, the need for individuals to acquire and use the sophisticated tools and knowledge to handle and analyze data is ever increasing. Because statistical analysis has become an indispensable component of many industries, we have worked closely with representatives from business and industry to develop the curriculum of this degree."
"Dr. Scott Pammer, manager of research and design at Minitab Inc., who was one of the reviewers of the curriculum of the MAS program, commented, "The program is useful to train professionals in statistical data analysis for today's workforce. The managers of three departments of Minitab would be open to supporting an internship program with students from this new program."
The Penn State Department of Statistics includes 24 full-time faculty members with research and instruction interests in most areas of statistics and probability. The department offers graduate and undergraduate programs leading to B.S., M.A.S., M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in applied and theoretical statistics. The Department of Statistics also is working with the World Campus to develop an on-line version of the M.A.S. program.
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