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Tag: administrivia

Statistics Club First Meeting

The key takeaways from Thursday night's meeting are these:

  1. The goal for the club is to become a resource for all students interested in statistics.
  2. The club will pursue several avenues to get offer our members substantive real-world experience (resulting in things you could feasibly put on your CV).
  3. In addition to larger projects, the club will have guest speakers, workshops on statistical methods, and other things of interest specifically to our members.

In the grand scheme of things, this club is relatively new. There are many, many opportunities to get involved with leading the club and getting experience. Some things we need people for are;

  • webmaster (create and maintain website)
  • club internals (managing intra- and inter-club projects)
  • coordinators for Industry and Academia related activities
  • people to give talks (on internship/job experiences, statistical methods, etc.)

If you don't see something above that fits your skills but you still want to contribute: let me know! If you want to help, we'll figure out the best place for you.

If you have ANY questions or comments, please don't hesitate to email me. If you want to get involved, please email me.

Sometime before our next big meeting, we'll have a steering meeting for members interested in leading some of the projects/activities. Keep your eyes and ears posted for that.

Lastly, I would like for this to be a data-driven club, so here is a link to a survey. Feel free to answer it anonymously or to include your contact info at the end.

The slides used at the last meeting are here: Statistics Club Meeting Slides 2012-09-27 (.pptx).

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On moving to a college of education

Today has been characterized by readings for a (required) doctoral colloquium (at which Dr. Terzian spoke) and talking to senior graduate students, in a general way, about their experiences here. A few broad thoughts informed by the happenings of today are below.

Qualifying Exams

  • The stats. department's qualifying exam is a four hour math test consisting of eight problems (two each from four classes). The usual passing grade is a six out of eight, and that is no small feat. I've heard nothing but nightmares about this.
  • The School of Teaching and Learning uses the qualifying exam as a constructive process where the end result forms the basis for one's dissertation later. It lasts about a month and requires writing answers (long, long answers) in response to questions. Some students say it isn't the worst thing ever (knock on wood).
  • The committee is apparently not trying to destroy you.

On Research

  • Tenure is a long way off, but the goal in the first five years of an academic position is writing journal articles that show a deliberate research trajectory that will carry one's career for the time being. The goal is showing the tenure committee a single body of work.
  • When writing, the re-writes are where improvement comes from. Rinse and repeat.
  • Dissertations are first and foremost written to answer a question.


  • Education gets little respect in the academy. There are several hypotheses for this, including that it is a gendered field (because it has many aspects associated with femininity).
  • Do what you like. (Polonius's "To thine own self be true.")
  • At research institutions research is respected. (That's about all that¬†is respected.)

Overall, I'm still apprehensive about starting this program... it is sufficiently removed from my last program that I am in the process of finding my footing. Taking REM classes is helping ease my transition, but there is only so long that I can take those classes for.

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