Five College Statistics Program

Five College Statistics Program

"Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write!" – Samuel S. Wilks in his 1951 address to the American Statistical Association1

Wilks’s quote is a paraphrase from H. G. Wells’ book Mankind in the Making. The full H.G. Wells quote reads:

The great body of physical science, a great deal of the essential fact of financial science, and endless social and political problems are only accessible and only thinkable to those who have had a sound training in mathematical analysis, and the time may not be very remote when it will be understood that for complete initiation as an efficient citizen of one of the new great complex worldwide States that are now developing, it is as necessary to be able to compute, to think in averages and maxima and minima, as it is now to be able to read and write.2

The time to become statistically literate is now! The Five College Statistics Program was created in 2011 to enable statistics faculty members at the five campuses to coordinate and integrate resources to better serve our statistics students.

Whether you want to take an introductory statistics class or pursue elective course offerings, the Five Colleges has statistics courses and programs of study just waiting for you! There is a statistics track within the math major as well as a statistics minor at Smith, a statistics major at Mount Holyoke, growth in faculty staffing and enrollments at Amherst College and graduate as well as undergraduate programs in statistics at UMass (through the Mathematics and Statistics Department). On this site you can find resources including links to statistics courses at each school, statistics faculty on each campus and more.

The Five College Statistics Program is committed to fostering closer ties between the faculty members teaching statistics and facilitating additional curricular cooperation to continue the strong statistical presence in the Valley. The Five College Statisticians meet on a regular basis to coordinate activities and are currently hosting several NSF post-docs in statistics who teach at the smaller schools while pursuing research programs at UMass.

1JASA, vol. 46, no. 253., pp. 1–18