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We are increasingly becoming a data-driven society with advances in technology and the accumulation of massive data in many fields. Statistics is the profession associated with making meaningful sense of data. Statistics is a rapidly advancing science with many avenues open for study and work. These range from statistical theory to its application in biology, medicine, the social sciences, engineering, physics and economics. In fact, there are few disciplines that do not use statistics in some form.

Modern mathematicians and statisticians are being asked to develop new tools and techniques to deal with problems in areas from business management to biology. New insights are also being developed in the more traditional areas of physical science and engineering. All this activity leads to new applications of mathematics and statistics, as well as new theoretical work on the structure of the mathematics and statistics involved.

Statistics can be used to answer some very important scientific, social and commercial questions. The challenge in statistics is to use appropriate logic, apply the correct methodology and interpret the results accurately.

Some projects involving statisticians include:

  • measuring the rate that cystic fibrosis develops in lung tissue
  • describing the spatial distribution of wood fibre lengths in trees
  • monitoring endangered animals to detect critical rates of decline
  • measuring the impact of government policy on education
  • estimating the working life of mechanical equipment before it requires repair
  • measuring the extent to which participation in group-therapy anger-management sessions reduces the chance of re-offending.

A large number of students benefit from taking an introductory course in Statistics because it is used in so many subjects, including Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Psychology, Forestry Science, Geography, Communication Disorders and Management.

Contact us

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Phone +64 3 369 4141

See the School's website for up-to-date location details.

Postal address
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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