Letter from the Chair 2019
Helping to put together this newsletter has been one of my favorite activities as department chair because it provides a good excuse to keep in touch with our exceptional alumni who have gone on to accomplish great things. I truly enjoy reading the alumni updates each year, and I’m always impressed with the variety of experiences that they’re undertaking, both professionally and personally.
I will be completing my sixth and final year as department chair in the next few months. It’s been a great honor to serve as the leader of our team of statistics teachers and faculty at Cal Poly. I’m often asked to identify the best aspect of our department, and the answer is always easy: the people. Our faculty are talented professionals, extremely dedicated to helping undergraduates learn as well as to their own scholarly pursuits. Our students are eager to learn and a pleasure to work with.
Our department leadership will be in very good hands as Andrew Schaffner moves into the chair role this summer. Andrew is a Cal Poly alumnus and an exceptional teacher and statistician. I have no doubt that he will provide effective leadership and helpful support to our students and faculty, and I suspect that he will also lead many new initiatives for our program.
When I became chair, we started a new tradition of giving a gift book to each graduating student. This year’s gift book will be "Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World and Why – And Why Things are Better Than You Think" by Hans Rosling. I think this book conveys a powerful and important message — not only that collecting and analyzing data can help us to understand the world but also that the world is by many meaningful measures a better place than it’s ever been.
In this newsletter you can find updates on some of our recent and current students’ activities and accomplishments, and I also encourage you to read updates from our alumni and faculty. Thank you to our donors for supporting Learn by Doing activities that wouldn’t be possible without you. And thanks to everyone for reading, for keeping in touch, and for representing our program so well.