SSI 2017 New Course Spotlight: "Mathematical Statistics" with Dr. Joel Nibert

SSI 2017 New Course Spotlight—"Mathematical Statistics" with Dr. Joel Nibert

Instructor Biography

Dr. Joel Nibert attended UT Austin and received his bachelor's degree in Mathematics along with the Plan II Honors Program. He was also a member of the Longhorn Band. Dr. Nibert has a master's degree in Mathematics from the University of Colorado, and in 2012 received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, in the area of probability theory. He joined the UT Mathematics Department faculty in 2013.

What is the main goal of this course?

The course goal is to expose students to the theoretical framework that justifies choices made in the practice of statistics. The intended audience is people who have a sense of what is done in statistics and would like to know why.

What is the principal scope of this course?

The scope for this four day workshop includes how to find estimators and how to evaluate them. I will also include material about likelihood tests (hypothesis tests).

What makes you excited about teaching this course?

I love teaching, and I love teaching math. I was honored by the invitation from the SSI team, and I hope to share some insights into statistics from a mathematician's point of view.

How much background knowledge or experience in this subject is required to be able to follow the course material?

This one is a little tricky, because to appreciate the theory, one needs to know some mathematics. I am expecting students to know some statistics (this is not an introductory course) as well as some probability (familiarity with distributions, how to take an expected value). Also we need calculus: derivatives are used for maximum likelihood estimation, integrals are used in computing expected value, among other things, and limits are needed to ascertain asymptotic properties of estimators. That being said, I am more than happy to walk students through all of these things, but those with some experience will be able to take more away from the course.

What skills and knowledge can participants expect to acquire by the end of the course?

A deeper understanding of statistics for all who use them, and for practitioners, insight into how to create new statistical methods of their own.

Being a volunteer in previous years, what is the most memorable experience you’ve had so far?

Meeting intelligent, interesting, and generous colleagues. And the cookies.

How do you feel about teaching your first course, "Mathematical Statistics," at the 10th annual SSI?

I'm excited.  And a little nervous.

The Department of Statistics and Data Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin is proud to host its 10th annual UT Summer Statistics Institute (SSI) May 22-25, 2017.

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