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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3 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.

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