Joe Blitztein sent around the following graph:
(The x-axis goes from 2000 to 2012 and the y=axis goes from 0 to 120.)
100 statistics majors (this combines sophomores, juniors, and seniors, but still, that’s a lot more than the 1 or 2 or 3 a year we’re used to seeing). At first I was like, whoa! But then I thought, why not 100 or even 200 or 300 statistics majors? Statistics is important in itself, it’s relatively easy as far as quantitative majors go, it’s applicable to lots of other areas. The real question should be not, What’s been happening that’s made statistics so trendy lately? but rather, What took so long for this to happen, and why isn’t statistics more popular? Both places where I studied as an undergraduate, statistics was just a subset of the math department, and maybe the only reason I ended up in statistics is that I took a probability course one semester because, at 5pm, it fit my schedule.