About Us

The Department of Statistics: Past and Present

Matthew Stephens, Department Chair; Ralph W. Gerard Professor, Departments of Statistics and Human Genetics, and the College
Matthew Stephens FRS, Department Chair; Ralph W. Gerard Professor, Departments of Statistics and Human Genetics, and the College

The Department of Statistics of the University was established in 1949 to conduct research into advanced statistics and probability, to work with others in the application of statistics to investigations in the natural and social sciences, and to teach probability and statistical theory and practice on the undergraduate and graduate levels.

From its beginning, the Department has been recognized for the high quality of its faculty and the diversity of its interests. Some of the most important and influential texts and monographs in statistics and probability have been authored by faculty members of our Department. These include Ergodic Theory and Information, Convergence of Probability Measures, and Probability and Measure by Patrick Billingsley; Inference and Disputed Authorship: The Federalist, an application of Bayesian methods to fix the authorship of the Federalist Papers, by David L. Wallace and Frederick Mosteller; The Foundations of Statistics, a famous analysis of fundamental problems by Leonard J. Savage;  Generalized Linear Models, an influential monograph that extends the scope of linear models greatly, including to models for discrete data, by Peter McCullagh and John Nelder; and  The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900, an account by Stephen M. Stigler of the historical development of the field of mathematical statistics.

The research of our current faculty represents our broad view of modern statistics, including mathematical statistics, probability, computation, optimization, linear algebra, and causal inference, and includes applications ranging from genetics to economics to chemistry. You can see all our current faculty at https://stat.uchicago.edu/people/. If you are interested in applying for one of our graduate programs, you will find more information at https://stat.uchicago.edu/academics/graduate-programs/. We look forward to hearing from you!

Matthew Stephens FRS
Ralph W. Gerard Professor and Chair

Last update: 7/24/22