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Now What? — Ulric Lund

In summer 2012, I was promoted to full professor. With no more advancements to work toward, I am finally free to follow my heart, cash in my academic freedom card and focus my attention on my one true passion: writing poetry.

How can a statistics professor remain professionally relevant writing poetry you ask? Easy: by writing poems about statistics. I estimate 53% of my poems need to be about statistics for me to qualify as a statistical poet. That statistic, 53%, may have been made up on the spot, but I've been told that's not unusual.

In the future, my muses will undoubtedly lead me to write poems about non-statistical themes, such as lakes in New England. But first I will have to visit those lakes, and airfare is expensive. So for now, I will stick with statistical poems.

The last time I had enough free time to write poetry was third grade, and it seems fitting to pick up where I left off. What better way to start my new collection of verse than with a tribute to the immortal "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue":


Outliers we dread,
But luckily they're few.
When no one is looking,
We know what to do.

Another great type of poem for a rusty old bard like me is haiku. Everyone pretends that haiku is an artsy, spiritual, nature-inspired type of poetry. But if we are honest, this form is so popular is because these poems are short and do not need to rhyme. The reader appreciates the brevity, and the lack of rhyming is a godsend to the author. You need only be able to count to 5 and to 7. Well, and to 5 again.


null hypothesis is true.
No partial credit.

Thus ends my tongue-in-cheek newsletter contribution for 2012. The highlight of this past year really was being promoted. I hope I've conveyed that message in an entertaining fashion, and I thank you for your indulgence.

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