By The Mathematical Association of America
Read Online or Download American Mathematical Monthly, volume 107, number 7, August-September 2000 PDF
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Additional info for American Mathematical Monthly, volume 107, number 7, August-September 2000
Statisticians active in reform have reached a consensus on teaching, but they lack institutional power. Neither of their major professional organizations matches the MAA's emphasis on teaching. The IMS primarily supports academic researchers, while the ASA has a majority of non-academic members and an emphasis on serving working statisticians. The ASA's Section on Statistical Education is one of 21 sections, and only about 1,000 of ASA's roughly 17,000 members belong to it. Statistics does have links to many fields, but this is because it is a methodological discipline rather than a core substantive area.
Here [6, p. 65] is what the deans said: The prevalent theme in every discussion was the insularity of mathematics. Mathematicians do not interact with other departments or with faculty outside mathematics, many deans claimed, and they view this as a problem both for research and for teaching. In many cases, deans contrasted mathematics with statistics, which they pointed out had connections everywhere. In suggesting that mathematics has become insular and statistics imperiled, we invite debate, but we attempt to argue from data and hope others will do likewise.
2000] STATISTICS AND MATHEMATICS 615 time to recognize that mathematics offers statistics intellectual as well as institutional protection. Thus the statisticians who approach our table are to be served humble pie. What do we offer our mathematician colleagues? We urge them to see their culture as others see it, and change. Worse yet, we offer our own field, statistics, as a model for that change. How do others see mathematics? The AMS recently spent seven years interviewing the chairs of research mathematics departments and their deans.