I wish there were more connections between statistics departments and biostatistics departments. I’ve been working with survival data recently, and it’s made me realize another gaping hole in my statistical knowledge base. It’s also made me realize that I wish I knew more biostatisticians. And I’m one of the lucky ones, really, because Columbia has a biostatistics department and I do know some people there. Often when statistics and biostatistics departments don’t have close connections, it’s for understandable reasons. When I was in graduate school at Harvard, for example, the statistics and biostatistics departments were (still are, I guess) separated by the Charles River and it took a 45-minute bus ride to travel between the two. I almost never made that trip. Still, there are some great people in the Harvard Biostatistics Department and I’m sure I could have benefited from working with or taking classes from them. Here at Columbia, the biostatistics department is a subway ride away from the statistics department, and if you take the 1 train then there’s that awful subway elevator to contend with (how on earth is that not a fire hazard?). Lots of universities don’t have both statistics and biostatistics departments; of the ones that do there are some with close connections. I just wish that was the rule rather than the exception.