Creating Opportunities for Young Statisticians - Undergraduate Statistics Club
When Tianyi Sun and Blake Nhul formed the Undergraduate Statistics Club, they had one goal in mind: bring more opportunities from outside a classroom environment to young statisticians. Through participating in statistics competitions, hosting professional statisticians, and with ambitious goals for the future, the Statistics Club has had what could only be described as a triumph.
In April 2015, the Statistics Club participated in the Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition (MUDAC) for the first time in the department’s history. MUDAC had twelve universities participate. Although the team did not finish in the top three, Sun said the experience was invaluable. “We learned what real world data looks like. We were able to learn that answering clients’ questions with innovative ideas is essential to success.” The club plans to send two teams in this year’s competition, with hopes for a standout finish.
Beyond MUDAC, the club hosted the University's first-ever statistics centered competition last fall. The event featured seven teams of three students; Sun and Nhul were delighted to discover a thriving undergraduate statistics community waiting for the opportunity to compete. The club worked with the area restaurants to offer prizes for the top teams.
The Statistics Club has also started to offer professional panels for students. These panels show how to apply statistics in real world scenarios. Professionals statisticians share their experiences with students and offer advice on how to find an internship to get started in the field. The panels are a great opportunity for students to see how many different careers a statistics degree offers.
Former public relations officer Wenjing Yang feels that opportunities like this are essential for undergraduates to succeed in their future professional careers. “It’s nice to hear what we can do with statistics in the real world,” Yang says. “We want to let undergraduates know about their options after they graduate.”
The club hopes to continue to grow their program offerings and membership. For example, they plan to increase the scope of fields that they highlight in the professional panel events. Club officers also are seeking out opportunities to work with small local businesses or entrepreneurs to provide data analytics and other statistical work. “The statistics club is the bridge between what we learn in the classroom and the real world.”