Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Statistics at Iowa State University is to develop and apply statistical methods to solve problems and grow knowledge in Iowa, the nation, and the world. We share statistical knowledge, created by others and us, with students and researchers through our teaching, consulting, collaboration, professional presentations, and publications. We advance the discipline of statistics through our development and application of methods, through our creation of computational tools that enable application of statistical methods, and through the building of statistical theory that provides the foundation for statistical methods. 

Our vision is to lead academic departments of statistics in impact on science, technology, and society, through our own work and the actions of our alumni and others we train. Our research and teaching activities are shaped by collaborations within the department, within our discipline, and with researchers from many other disciplines. We recognize the opportunity to influence the future of undergraduate and graduate statistics education for majors and non-majors by innovatively teaching how to connect statistical thinking to scientific, technological, and societal challenges. We teach and advise with genuine care for students and their learning, in and out of the classroom. 

We accomplish our mission and pursue our vision as a team that includes valuable, rewarding, and fulfilling roles for all. We value the diverse skills and interests of our members and recognize that our distinct efforts are important contributions to a complete mission and vision.  

Our strategic priorities are as follows: 

  • We strive for disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research excellence. Our disciplinary excellence is marked by our publication of high-quality papers that draw the attention of the statistics community and influence our field. Our interdisciplinary excellence is indicated by impactful collaborations with scientists from other disciplines that result in important discoveries. Our transdisciplinary excellence is established by working with others to find solutions to problems that transcend existing disciplines. 
  • We pursue and achieve success in competitive external research funding to support our work and to provide funded research opportunities for our students. 
  • We will continue to build a departmental environment where all students, staff, and faculty feel welcome, included, and heard. We will identify and provide the resources students, staff, and faculty need to be successful. We will spread the word about our community so that an increasingly diverse population of students will join us and move on to successful careers in statistics. 
  • We will grow our undergraduate program and enhance our graduate program that has been a central focus of our department for decades. We will study the landscape of opportunities for our students and make changes to our programs to ensure that our students are well prepared for the opportunities they seek. 
  • We will strengthen our connection to our alumni. We will listen to their input as we shape our programs and involve them in broadening the experiences of our current undergraduate and graduate students. Based on data from the American Statistical Association (ASA), we have produced more statistics PhD graduates than all but one other program from 2003 to 2019 and rank 15th in number of MS students graduated in that same period. Thus, our alumni network is a large asset. 
  • We will strengthen our connection to the data science ecosystem at Iowa State University by taking a lead role in data science educational programs and in data science research.