Message from the Chair

“Mark”The purpose of Statistics is to design, construct, and evaluate techniques for analyzing data. The data can be qualitative or quantitative, self-reported or machine-collected, and the motivations can be scientific, commercial, legal, or policy.

Aided by the development of the computer, the adoption of statistical methods grew enormously during the twentieth century. The field of Statistics is continuing to change in response to the remarkable increase in demand for statistical thinking and methodology in research, industry and business.

The Department of Statistics was founded in 1998 to meet this demand. By building on the traditional strengths in probability, mathematical statistics and applications of the UCLA Mathematics, Biomathematics and Biostatistics Departments, the Department of Statistics has become a leader in the development of statistical methodology that exploits the increasing power of computers.

The emergence of data science and analytics and the ubiquitous use of statistical ideas have required us to quickly adapt both our teaching and research.

Research in the department focuses on statistical learning, computer vision, computational biology, social sciences, and environmetrics. We also have faculty whose research is dedicated to improving the quality of statistics education.

Our graduate program offers three degrees. Our Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees are structured around three core course sequences that introduce students to the science of data: theoretical statistics, data analysis, and statistical computing. This balance of training prepares our graduates for positions in academia, industry and government. Many of our PhD students graduate to research and teaching positions in first-rate universities and research institutions around the world. We have recently added a Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) degree. The MAS program prepares students for work in industry through an emphasis on methods and theory commonly used in applications.

We offer both an undergraduate major and a minor in Statistics. Our undergraduate program offers a broad range of courses covering applications, computation, and theory. Statistics, as a discipline, is inter-disciplinary, applied, and increasingly computational. To reflect this, we provide our students the opportunity to do real-world data analysis via a capstone consulting course.

Furthermore, we continue to provide training in statistics for graduate students from other departments and undergraduates from throughout the College. As the value of statistical ideas and methodologies has become more appreciated, our classes have increased in number and student quality.

Finally, as an interdisciplinary field, we keep close collaborative ties with other sciences, including the physical, social and life sciences and public health.

Our website tells you about our individual faculty research interests, our degree programs, and provides information about how you can apply to our graduate or undergraduate programs. Follow these directions to come visit us in person in the Mathematical Sciences Building.

Welcome to Statistics at UCLA! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions that are not addressed on this website.

Mark S. Handcock
Professor and Chair
Department of Statistics