Startling lack of training in statistical computing

It is shocking to me that a statistics department would offer a graduate-level statistical computing course only every fourth year.

I had been arguing for a statistical programming course: that we supplement the usual course on the theory of statistical computing (numerical linear algebra, EM algorithm, MCMC, etc.) with a course on the practice of statistical computing.

But I was assuming that the more theoretical statistical computing course was actually being taught.

If a department teaches a course at a frequency less than every-other-year, it’s unavailable to many students, or it comes too late in their training to be useful. And statistical computing should really be considered part of a statistics department’s core curriculum.

Update: As you might have anticipated, I’ve been asked to teach the course.

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4 Responses to “Startling lack of training in statistical computing”

  1. Chris Saunders Says:

    I would be very surprised if statistical programing and computation was not an integral part of every PhD statistics course offered.

    From my grad school (a different program altogether), I do not remember a lecture and/or the corresponding assignment that did not have a major programing component to complement the theory. If I remember correctly there was only one course on computational statistics, which was rather theoretical and started my love of asymptotic statistics.

    Also, when I went to school, it was still common for a master’s level statistician spend most of their second year being trained statistical programing and data wrangling- basically data science these days.

  2. vate01 Says:

    I don’t know if a computing course must be mandatory (many statisticians are really not interested in computation but theorems and proofs, and that’s Ok), but yes, it is shocking that the program only offer that course every four years… :-\

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