The term of President Barack H. Obama (2009-2017) covered most of this era. The 2010 U.S. Census reported a population of 308.7 million, including 989,000 in Montana. A major expansion of health care in the U.S. occurred when President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as Obama Care) in 2010.
     For the Citizens United case that originated in Montana, the Supreme Court ruled (5 to 4) that state/local governments cannot restrict independent political expenditures by corporations, associations, and unions; as a result, “dark money” became overwhelmingly influential in U.S. politics.
     In 2011, ExxonMobil workers attempted to contain 63,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Yellowstone River near Laure, MT. Four years later, a pipeline split at a weld and 31,000 gallons of oil spilled into an ice-covered Yellowstone River just upstream from Glendive, MT. That spill contaminated Glendive's water supply with benzene, a carcinogen.
      In the 2012 election, incumbent President Barack Obama was re-elected, defeating Republican challenger W. Mitt Romney. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Defense of Marriage Rule that prohibited legally married gay couples from receiving federal benefits and privileges and the U.S. Supreme Court twice affirmed that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right in the United States (2013 & 2015). The Unemployment Rate dropped to 5% in 2015, that being the same low rate attained immediately prior to the Great Recession of 2007. Data indicated that atmospheric carbon dioxide had increased to higher levels than for the previous hundreds of thousands of years.
     Donald John Trump (President: 2017-present) defeated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Democratic candidate Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million, but Trump won in the Electoral College. In January, 2017, a U.S. intelligence agency reported that Russia carried out a massive cyber operation to flood social media with false information designed to confuse voters and influence the 2016 election.
     The Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on a 51 to 49 vote; economists predicted that those tax cuts would add $1–2 trillion to the budget deficit and would disproportionately benefit wealthy individuals and big corporations. Trump began tariff wars with selected nations, including some long-time U.S. allies. Retaliatory tariffs against agriculture products negatively affected Montana farmers in 2018. A partial shutdown of the federal government began in December and ended 35 days later in January, 2019.
     The Trump administration banned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using such words as “evidence-based” and “science-based” in any official budget documents, and climate change was dropped from the list of national security threats. A March for Science was held on Earth Day in 2017; local marches were held in several Montana cities, including Bozeman.
      The 2018 wildfire season in Californian was the worst ever. In all, 3000 sq miles were burned, resulting in 100 deaths, many injured civilians and firefighters, and more than 23,000 structures destroyed. The damages totaled more than $3.5 billion. Smoke from the California fires, as well as fires in the Northwest U.S. and in western Canada, produced hazardous air quality in Bozeman.
      Montana Senator Jon Tester raised concerns about President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In response, Trump demanded that Montana Senator Tester resign his Senate seat. Tester did not resign and the President vowed to prevent him from another term in the Senate; nevertheless, Tester prevailed and was re-elected that year (2018).
     As 2019 ended, President Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives which cited two articles of impeachment. The first article charged him with abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to launch an investigation of a Democratic rival. The second article charged Trump with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents in response to House subpoenas. The Senate probably will hold an impeachment trial in 2020. (Update: The Senate voted to acquit President Trump.)

      In 2010, Dr. Waded Cruzado (2010–present) began her service as the twelfth President of MSU. Dr. Cruzado expressed strong support for the land-grant university goal of providing educational opportunities for all. She issued a compelling call to action that was well-received by students, the Board of Regents, and Montana governors. Between 2010 and 2018, MSU enrollment increased by 44%, from 11,760 to 16,900. The number of tenure-track faculty positions increased by 11% and the adjunct positions by 25%. Compound interest calculations show that the annual percentage increase in undergraduate expenses of 5.4% was about three times the U.S. annual inflation rate of 1.8%.
In 2012, by a close vote, the tenure-track faculty supported a proposal to decertify the faculty union. In a separate ballot, the adjunct faculty and other non-tenure-track faculty chose to unionize. Similarly, the graduate students overwhelmingly voted to unionize.
      During 2010-2019, major renovations of buildings included Gaines Hall, Hamilton Hall, the Renne Library Commons, Hapner and Langford Halls, the Cooley Lab, Linfield Hall, and the SUB Ballrooms. Among the new buildings were Animal Bioscience, Gallatin Hall, Jabs Hall, Miller Dining Hall, Yellowstone Hall, Parking Garage, Rendezvous Dining Pavilion, Norm Asbjornson Hall, and a New Residence Hall due for completion in 2020. A vast amount of support came from private donors, many of whom were MSU alumni.
Following the Great Recession of 2007, the university changed its policy on sharing facilities and administration charges on grants. Less support went to the principal investigators and departments and more went to the university where the funds were needed to cover the research expenses that accrued during the Recession. The Commissioner of Higher Education visited the campus and learned that the main priority for the faculty was maintaining MSU’s top-tier research ranking. In 2016, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced that MSU no longer held the status of ‘very high research activity.’  However, in 2019, MSU regained that top Carnegie research classification.
      MSU undergraduates won some prestigious scholarships during the quarter-century 1993-2018, including 54 Goldwater Scholarships, 7 Truman Scholarships, and 6 Rhodes Scholarships. In 2014, MSU received a National Diversity Award for a variety of programs that supported minorities and veterans. In 2019, MSU was the only school in the country to hold Carnegie Foundation recognition for high quality undergraduate education, research activity, and community engagement.
MSU was demonstrably a highly successful academic institution and economic analysts reported that the state's universities were an excellent investment for Montana. Nevertheless, many Montana politicians began to view higher education as a private, not a public, good; as a benefit to a minority, not a majority of citizens. MSU was forced to apply the financial support strategies of a private college while continuing to uphold the land-grant promise of open enrollment for Montanans and also providing extensive service and economic growth to the state.

Among developments in science and technology during this era, the first prototype of a large-format, affordable 3D printer (called Gigabot) was created. Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled the world's most powerful computer, with a peak performance of 2⨯1017 floating-point operations per second.
     The fields of machine learning and data mining employ algorithms that could overfit the data and produce false confidence in the results. Statisticians developed a variety of strategies to produce more realistic uncertainty assessments. For example, they created and improved random forest and bagging methods. These techniques are spin-offs of the bootstrapping concept. Statisticians also developed a variety of boosting methods that create a reliable tool by pooling results from a set of weak algorithms. Overall, statisticians became involved in crafting strategies for applying the scientific method to the hot field of data science.
For their historical tasks of designing and analyzing scientific studies, statisticians were confronted with the problem of choosing a statistical package from among the many (100+) available. Statisticians worked to develop computationally feasible methods for analyzing unevenly spaced time series data.
The value of statistics became increasingly appreciated. Internationally, the numbers of bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded in statistics both had roughly doubled during the past 10 years previous to 2014. The proportional representation of women in statistics, and especially biostatistics, became much higher than in comparable disciplines. In 2019, a U.S. News and World Report article reported that Statistics was listed as #2 among the 100 Best Jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 33.8 percent employment growth for statisticians between 2016 and 2026.

     During 2010-2019, the Statistics Program at MSU conferred 87 graduate degrees in Statistics, 77 MS degrees and 10 PhD degrees.
      In 2010, the course STAT 216 was renamed "Introduction to Statistics," replacing the name "Elementary Statistics" that was the course's name since 1948.
Beginning in 2012, the Statistics course offerings began to co-convene (same room, same time) selected STAT 4xx courses and their corresponding 5xx courses. The statistical packages R and SAS became the main tools for class-assigned statistical calculations and graphics. Course descriptions began to include emphasis on important skills such as statistical thinking, appropriate inference, data interpretation, causality, hierarchical models, and report writing.
      In 2014, the MSU Statistical Consulting Center received funding from the MT Idea Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program. By 2019, the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core became a MT-INBRE program and created the Statistical Consulting and Research Services (SCRS). The new statistical consulting center, SCRS, was adiministered through the Department of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) with multiple sources of funding including DMS, the College of Letters and Science, and MT-INBRE. Such support for a campus-wide statistical consulting program fulfilled the aspirations of generations of MSU statisticians, going back at least to the 1950s.
      In 2018, the Montana Board of Regents approved the Montana State University Master’s Degree in Data Science, which is a new interdisciplinary program that draws on courses in three areas: Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics.

The Statistics faculty underwent significant changes during this decade:

Joined the faculty  
Dr. Jennifer L. Green (2013 – 2020) joined the statistics faculty in 2013;
Dr. Laura Hildreth (2013 – 2018)  joined the statistics faculty in 2013;
Dr. Lillian S. Lin (2014-2018) joined as Director of Statistical Consulting at MSU in 2014;
Dr. Stacey Hancock (2016 – present) joined the statistics faculty in 2016;
Dr. Andrew Hoegh (2016 – present) joined the statistics faculty in 2016;
Dr. Nicole Bohme Carnegie joined the statistics faculty in 2017;
Dr. Katharine (Katie) M. Banner joined the statistics faculty in 2018.
Left the faculty
Dr. Kathi Irvine (2008 – 2010) left in 2010 to take a position as Research Statistician with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman;
Dr. Megan Higgs (2008-2016) resigned her tenure-track position in the Department in 2016. Dr. Higgs served as Director of Statistical Consulting & Research Services (SCRS), Director of the MT INBRE Bioinformatics & Biostatistics Core, and Associate Research Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences for 2018-2019, then left MSU to found the firm, Critical Inference LLC.
Dr. Laura Hildreth (2013 – 2018) left in 2018 to become a Research Staff Member in the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia.
Retired from MSU
Dr. Jeff Banfield (1988 – 2012) retired in 2012;
Dr. Warren Esty (1976 - 2015) retired in 2015;
Dr. Jim Robison-Cox (1991 – 2016) retired in 2016;
Dr. Steve Cherry (1999-2017) retired in 2017;
Dr. Lillian S. Lin (2014-2018) retired in 2018.

Statistics Faculty: AY 2019-2020
The eight Tenured/Tenure Track statistics faculty members in 2019 were:
Dr. John Borkowski,
Dr. Mark Greenwood, and 
6 of the 7 statisticians listed above in "Joined the faculty," (For more faculty information, see the next topic About Statistics Program in 2019 for this era.)

The leadership of the Department of Mathematical Sciences experienced many changes too:

Dr. Ken Bowers retired from the Department Headship, July 1, 2013;
Dr. Tomas Gedeon, Professor of Mathematics, became Department Head on July 1, 2013;
Dr. Robert Mokwa, Professor of Engineering, became Department Head in 2015;
Dr. Elizabeth Burroughs, Professor of Mathematics Education, became Department Head in 2016.


Detailed Chronicle of the Statistics Program: 2010-2019


2010-12 MSU Course Bulletin

The rubric MATH was reduced to M, but STAT was unchanged.

The statistics course offerings received minor adjustments , mainly revised course numbers and titles:


STAT 438 - replaced with the new course STAT 338 (description below)

     Renumbered, Renamed, Co-listing changes
STAT 216Q INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS - replaced the old name "Elementary Statistics" that had been used since 1948;
  "/Creative Activity" removed from title;
STAT 291 – SPECIAL TOPICS previously was numbered 280;
STAT 421 PROBABILITY THEORY previously was numbered 420, no longer colisted with M 421;
STAT 422 MATHEMATICAL STATISTICS previously was numbered 424, no longer co-listed with M 422;
STAT – 490R UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH "/Creative Activity" removed from title;
STAT 491 SPECIAL TOPICS previously was numbered 480;
STAT 492 INDEPENDENT STUDY previously was numbered 470;
STAT 494 SEMINAR previously was numbered 400;
STAT 498 INTERNSHIP previously was numbered 476;
STAT 509 STOCHASTIC PROCESSES previously was numbered 522;
STAT 501, 502, and 509 became cross-listed with M 501, M 502, and M 509 respectively.

      New  – STAT 338 replaced the former STAT 438

— Introduction to statistical packages SAS and S, including data importation, graphing, and basic analysis. Emphasis on use of graphical displays to explore, understand and present data.

Even though the graduate degrees in statistics are "MS in Statistics"  and "PhD in Statistics," the B.S. degree  for statisticians has been since 1955, "B.S. in Mathematics under the Statistics Option."  The 2010 version of that undergraduate degree program will now be described.

Statistics Option

Statisticians are trained in principles of quantitative reasoning. They learn how to discover patterns in data, how to display data, how to construct mathematical models for data, and how to detect biases and uncertainties in data summaries or models. They are trained to design and analyze observational studies, surveys, and scientific experiments. The computer is an essential tool for statistical work. Statisticians are in demand; successful students should find that job opportunities are excellent. Although positions are available nationwide, the best employment opportunities are found in urban areas, industrial sites, and centers of government. The statistics option prepares students for such positions or for entry into a graduate program in statistics.

Statistics Option Requirements:  A total of 51 credits in the mathematical sciences are required. These include the following 42 credits of M 171, 172, 221, 273, 242, 441, STAT 338, 410, 412, 421, 422, 446, and either STAT 332 or both STAT 216 and 217. In addition, nine credits are required from STAT 431, STAT 437, STAT 439, STAT 448, STAT 491, or from courses approved by an advisor.
A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation; 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above. Core 2.0 must be completed for graduation.

Actuary Profession Bound Students
     Actuary profession-bound students are advised to take STAT 421, 422 during the junior year in order to be prepared for the actuarial exams given during the senior year. For further guidance, see the Actuary Advisor in the Dept. of Mathematical Sciences.

Freshman Year F S
Take one of the following:    
   CLS 101US--College Seminar 3  
   COM 110US--Public Communication 3  
WRIT 101W--College Writing I   3
M 171Q--Calculus I 4  
M 172Q--Calculus II   4
University Core and Electives 8 7
Total 15 14
Sophomore Year F S
M 221--Introduction to Linear Algebra   3
M 273Q--Multivariable Calculus 4  
Take either    
   STAT 216Q--Intro to Statistics  3     
   STAT 217Q--Intermed Stat Concepts    3  
   STAT 332--Stat-Scientist & Engr 3  
   STAT 338--Stat Computing & Grph Anal   3
M 242--Methods of Proof   3
Science/Lab Electives 4 4
University Core and Electives 4 3
Total 15 16
Junior Year F S
M 441--Num Linear Alg & Optimization 3  
STAT 446--Sampling 3 3
Math or Stat Elect (See Above)   3
Science/Lab Electives 4 4
University Core and Electives 5 8
Total 15 15
Senior Year F S
STAT 410--Data Analysis I 3  
STAT 412--Data Analysis II   3
STAT 421--Probability Theory 3  
STAT 422--Mathematical Stat   3
Math or Stat Elect (See Above) 3 3
University Core and Electives 6 6
Total 15 15

The 2010-2012 Course Bulletin listed seven tenure-track statistics faculty members:
Assoc. Prof. Jeff Banfield, Prof. John Borkowski, Assoc. Prof. Steve Cherry, Asst. Prof. Mark Greenwood, Asst. Prof. Megan Higgs, Asst. Prof. Kathi Irvine, and  Assoc. Prof. Jim Robison-Cox.

In 2010, Dr. Kathi Irvine (2008 – 2010) resigned her tenure-track appointment to take a position as Research Statistician with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman. Her Department designation became Affiliate Faculty in Statistics.3 

Graduate Degrees Awarded: 2010 - 2012

MS in Statistics degrees were awarded to Corinne Casolara, Timothy Knutson, Kurt Michels, Nicolas Thompson (thesis plan), and Siri  (Framness) Wilmoth in 2011, and to Katharine Banner, Dustin Dickerson, Michael Lerch, Brian McGuire, Jade (Roskam) Schmidt, Patchanok Srisuradetchai, and Jamie Thornton in 2012.

  • Nicolas Ray Thompson’s Masters Thesis “Cylindrical designs for response surface studies” was supervised by Dr. John J. Borkowski.6 

PhD in Statistics degrees were awarded in 2012 to Yin Chang, Ilai Keren, and Ismael Suleman Talke.

  • Dr. Chang’s dissertation “Principal component models applied to confirmatory factor analysis” was co-directed by Dr. Robert J. Boik and Dr. Steven Cherry.9 
  • Dr. Keren’s dissertation “Development of a total systems approach to multi-pest management decision analysis” was co-directed by Dr. James F. Robison-Cox and Dr. Fabian D. Menalled, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences.12 
  • Dr. Talke’s dissertation “Number theoretic methods in designing experiments” was directed by Dr. John J. Borkowski.15

2012-14 MSU Course Bulletin

Notable changes and events took place in the Department and the Statistics program.

Dr. Jeff Banfield (1988 – 2012) retired in 2012 after 24 years of service.18 

On July 1, 2013, Dr. Ken Bowers left the Department Head position after 12 years of administrative service.

Farewell article by Ken Bowers in the 2013 DMS Newsletter 

On July 1, 2013, I returned to the faculty in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, having served 12 years as department head. This seems an appropriate time to reflect on the changes we experienced over those years and to peer into the future of our department. It has been a delight to work with the faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students in our department. Their accomplishments have reflected so brightly on our fundamental missions of teaching and research. Combined with our alumni and donors, we form a family centered upon our love of, and appreciation for, mathematics. Our 112 year history, beginning in 1901 with our first department head Bill Tallman, is one filled with professionals who devoted their careers to this department. What an incredible legacy we can continue for the future.

The past 12 years have been remarkable. MSU’s enrollment has grown 27 percent while our number of departmental majors has increased a whopping 43 percent. Throughout this time we have consistently delivered more than 10 percent of the total MSU student credit hours. While our faculty size has not increased, our department’s research grant dollars have more than tripled. We publish at a higher rate per faculty member today and make professional presentations around the state, nation and world more often than ever before. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends our departmental endowment has more than quadrupled, the proceeds of which we use to continually improve our programs. During this time, with the strong support of our undergraduate majors, we implemented a Mathematics Program Fee which benefits students enrolled in mathematics courses.

Through all of these transitions, one thing was a constant; we delivered superb learning opportunities for thousands of students. Whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, students affiliated with our department were able to grow as mathematicians and as well-informed citizens with the critical thinking skills so valuable in today’s society. Through the dedication and foresight of our faculty, staff and students, we have experienced many positive changes. Faculty who were young and full of promise in 2001, have now become the pillars of our department and we are currently welcoming several new faculty members that hold the same promise for their future and ours. Outstanding student accomplishments include nine Goldwater scholars, three Fulbright Scholars and three recipients of the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. Our faculty received more than 25 University and College awards for excellent teaching and research. Several of our faculty members have also been named national Fellows of the American Mathematical Society or the American Statistical Association in recognition of lifelong achievements. What accomplishments!
– Ken Bowers


Dr. Tomas Gedeon (2013 – 2015) became the ninth department head on July 1, 2013. In the final newsletter of his term, Ken Bowers wrote “Tomas has been an extraordinary colleague for over 20 years, both as a superb researcher in applied mathematics and as an outstanding teacher at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Most importantly, he has a vision for the future that will guide the next generation of the Department of Mathematical Sciences.”

In the Fall of 2013 two new Assistant Professors joined the statistics faculty, Dr. Jennifer Green and Dr. Laura Hildreth.

Dr. Jennifer L. Green (2013 – present) received her PhD from University of Nebraska in 2010. Her dissertation “Estimating Teacher Effects Using Value-Added Models” was supervised by Dr. Erin E. Blankenship.21  Before coming to MSU, Jennifer worked for 3 years as a research assistant professor at the University of Nebraska. She brings to the department unique and valuable experience in Statistics Education. She also brought support from two new grants to fund her ongoing research.24

Dr. Laura Hildreth (2013 – 2018) received her PhD in Statistics from Iowa State University In 2013. Her dissertation “Residual analysis for structural equation modeling” was supervised by Ulrike Genschel and Frederick Lorenz.27

In 2013 Dr. John Borkowski received an Honorary Doctorate from Thammasat University (Thailand) for his contributions to their doctoral program in Statistics. Since 2005, John has taught graduate courses, co-chaired three doctoral dissertations, four masters theses, and continues to mentor doctoral students in Thailand. With his aid, a General Agreement between MSU and TU was formed in 2007. As a result, graduate students from TU and a Thai post-doctoral student have visited MSU to work with John. He has also recruited a lecturer from TU into the PhD program in Statistics at MSU.30

2012-14 MSU Course Bulletin
In the STAT course listings, some courses were new, some courses were deleted, and some courses were revised.

New Statistics Courses:
NB: 410 and 511 were co-convened and 412 and 512 were co-convened

STAT 201Q STATISTICS IN THE WORLD S 3 cr. LEC 3 PREREQ: M 096/097, MPLEX Level 3 or ACT 22 or SAT 520.
—  Discusses statistical reasoning and methods as related to today’s society. Emphasizes ideas rather than specific techniques. Focuses on real examples of the use (and misuse) of statistics. Includes sampling, experimentation, descriptive statistics, elementary probability and statistical inference.

STAT 511 METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS I F, S 3 cr. LEC 3 cr. PREREQUISITE: Graduate standing and STAT 216. This course is intended for graduate students not majoring in a mathematical science.
—Graphical techniques, data collection plans, populations, samples, and sampling distributions, inferences on means and proportions of one and two populations, analysis of variance for one-way classifications and multiple comparisons, simple linear regression.
STAT 512 METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS II S 3 cr. LEC 3 cr. PREREQ: STAT 410/STAT 511 (co-convened).
—Continuation of STAT 410/STAT 511 to cover principles of experimental design, multi-factor ANOVA, repeated measures, logistic regression, Poison log-linear regression, and introduces to multivariate and time series analyses, with an emphasis on statistical thinking, appropriate inference and interpretation, and writing.

Deleted Statistics Course:


Revised Statistics Courses:

— Introduction to R, S, and SAS stat packages including data importation, basic analysis and graphing. Use of graphics to communicate important aspects of data.
Three segments of the course: Basic R, More R and Basic SAS are separable, each being 1 credit. Students may take all three or, with consent of instructor, fewer segments.
STAT 410 METHODS FOR DATA ANALYSIS I In the description, added to the emphasis were "statistical thinking and writing."
STAT 412 METHODS FOR DATA ANALYSIS II The revised description is:
— Continuation of STAT 410/STAT 511 to cover principles of experimental design, multi-factor ANOVA, repeated measures, logistic regression, Poison log-linear regression, and introduces to multivariate and time series analyses, with an emphasis on statistical thinking, appropriate inference and interpretation, and writing.
—Mathematical foundation and theory of point estimation, particularly maximum likelihood estimation, interval estimation, and hypothesis testing.
STAT 505 LINEAR MODELS The revised description is:
—Matrix formulation for linear models. Least squares solutions to normal equations. Gauss- Markov Theorem. Hierarchical model under normality and for generalized linear models. Methods for inferring causality. Use of statistical software.
STAT 532 BAYESIAN DATA ANALYSIS The revised description is:
—Theoretical coverage of the fundamental principles of Bayesian inference, coverage of computational methods commonly used for Bayesian inference, introduction to applied Bayesian data analysis and hierarchical models.
STAT 591 SPECIAL TOPICS This course number replaces the former 580.
STAT 592 INDEPENDENT STUDY This course number replaces the former 570.
STAT 594 SEMINAR This course number replaces the former 500.
STAT 598 INTERNSHIP This course number replaces the former 576.


         Statistical Consulting Center (2014 - Present)

At some point after the mid-1990s, the Statistical Center faded away. The statistics faculty of the 2010s sought to revive it. In December, 2011, Dr. Mark Greenwood responded to a request for proposals from the “MSU Investment Proposal for Institutional Priorities” by requesting funds for a Statistical Consulting Center Director and an assistant, amounting to $340,000 over 3 years. The description and justification were persuasive and, although not successful, the seeds of the idea were planted. In November, 2012, Dr. Megan Higgs revised and resubmitted the request with a slightly reduced budget. These efforts by the statistics faculty were rewarded with a funded Statistical Consulting Center, established in 2014.

Dr. Lillian S. Lin (2014-2018) joined the Department as the inaugural Director of Statistical Consulting at MSU. Dr. Lin received her PhD in Statistics from the University of Washington in 1990. Her dissertation “Analysis of Multivariate Binary Outcome Data from a Randomized Clinical Trial” was supervised by Dr. Lloyd D. Fisher, Jr. Prior to coming to MSU, Dr. Lin was employed for nearly 20 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga. She was a Lead Mathematical Statistician from 2002–2014 and managed the work of 12 statisticians working in six CDC science branches.

Her position at MSU received five years of funding through the MT Idea Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) grant. The Statistical Consulting Center provided statistical support to biomedical researchers, strove to expand the statistical consulting infrastructure, and served researchers in all disciplines at MSU.

Graduate Degrees Awarded: 2012 - 2014

MS in Statistics degrees were awarded to Cynthia Hollimon, Samuel Schaefer, and Erica Swanson in 2013, and to Christopher Barbour, Elizabeth Mosher, Amber Nuxoll, Alyssa Peck, Jay Rosencrantz, Koji Toma, Tan Tran, and Matthew Tyers in 2014.

PhD in Statistics degrees were awarded in 2013 to Olga Vsevolozhskaya and in 2014 to Sydney Akapame.

  • Dr.  Vsevolozhskaya’s dissertation “Follow-up testing in functional analysis of variance” was directed by Dr. Mark C. Greenwood.33 
  • Dr. Akapame’s dissertation “Robust and optimal design strategies for nonlinear models using genetic algorithms” was directed by Dr. John J. Borkowski.36


2014-2015 MSU Catalog39

This catalog and all subsequent catalogs pertain to a single academic year; each catalog is accessible on the university web site.

In 2015, the engineering professor Dr. Robert Mokwa (2015 – 2016) replaced Dr. Tomas Gedeon and became (Temporary) Head, Department of Mathematical Sciences. As far as this retiree (MAH) can determine, this unusual appointment was imposed when the Provost and Department Head Gideon, who strongly advocated for increased University support to the department, were at an impasse. The Department certainly was underfunded given its workload and productivity. In the 2014-15 academic year, the Department of Mathematical Sciences employed 44 total faculty of whom 23 were tenured or tenure-track (T/TT), 10 were adjuncts, and 11 were TAs. The research expenditures per T/TT was 70% greater than in peer departments at similar institutions and the total student credit hours taught by all faculty was 45% higher than in peer departments.42


Dr. Warren Esty retired in 2015 after 38 years of service. It appears that Dr. Esty gave the Department the longest term of service before retirement since WWII (surpassed only by Prof. Tallman’s 45 years beginning in 1901). In our history of the statistics program at MSU, Dr. Esty has not been counted as a statistics faculty member, mainly because he was not an active participant in statistics curriculum development, STAT course teaching assignments, statistical laboratory consulting, etc. Dr. Esty participated in curriculum development with both the mathematics group and the mathematics education group, but he also was a significant contributor to the statistics program. He jointly published with statisticians, published many single author papers in statistics journals, and mentored statistics graduate students. It is appropriate to view Dr. Esty as a member of all three programs within the Department of Mathematical Sciences – Statistics, Mathematics, and Math Education. He was the consummate intellectual who was interested in, and knowledgeable about, a broad range of subjects, including his widely-recognized expertise in ancient numismatics. He was MSU’s modern “Renaissance man.”
 (Dr. Esty's Retirement Lecture can be viewed online:


This catalog indicates a new course, a deleted course, and several revised courses among the STAT course offerings.

New Course:

STAT 441 Experimental Design. 3 Credits. (3 Lec) S
PREREQUISITE: STAT 411/STAT 511 and M 221 or M 333 or M 441 or consent of instructor. An introduction to the design and analysis of experiments: topics include analysis of variance methods, matrix forms, multiple comparisons, fixed and random effects, factorial designs, balanced complete and incomplete blocking designs, designs with nested effects, and split plot designs. Co-convened with STAT 541.

Deleted Course:

STAT 598 Internship

         Revised Courses:
The prerequisites for courses that required 411 or 412 were rewritten to require
STAT 411/STAT 511 or STAT 412/STAT 512, in recognition of co-convened classes.

STAT 408 Statistical Computing and Graphical Analysis. 1-3 Credits. 
The course allowed variable credits, but this sentence was deleted: “Three segments of the course: Basic R, More R and Basic SAS are separable, each being 1 credit. Students may take all three or, with consent of instructor, fewer segments.”
STAT 411 Methods for Data Analysis I. This course number replaces the former 410.
STAT 436 Introduction to Time Series Analysis was co-convened with STAT 536.
STAT 505 Linear Models had prerequisites changed from STAT 422 & STAT 412 to STAT 502 or M 502.
STAT 511 Methods of Data Analysis I and
STAT 512 Methods of Data Analysis II
had “Semester project required” added to the descriptions, requiring additional work to justify the graduate credits.
STAT 525 Biostatistics This course number replaces the former 524
STAT 536 Time Series Analysis was co-convened with STAT 436.
STAT 541 Experimental Design was co-convened with STAT 441. The 541 course number replaces 526.
STAT 575 Professional Paper and Project “Research or” was deleted from the front of the title.

TEAL instructional strategy improves student success in STAT 216Q

The STAT 216Q course was required for students in many disciplines and it was delivered to about 1600 students per year. Historically, approximately 40% of those students received a D,F, or W grade (essentially the same DFW percentage as for pre-calculus, calculus I, and calculus II). Statistics had become a roadblock for many students attempting to make progress towards their degrees. As part of its efforts to improve support for the University, MSU assured the BOR that it would increase its rate of completion to degree. To meet that promise, service departments needed to improve instruction so that more students could succeed in critical courses such as STAT 216Q.

Prior to fall 2013, introductory courses were offered in sections of 40-45 students using the conventional approach in which each section was taught independently by a Graduate Teaching Assistant or a non-Tenure Track faculty member and all instructors were supervised by a tenure track faculty member. The Department decided to depart from that system and try a new, technology-based approach in introductory statistics and mathematics courses.

In 2013, the STAT 216Q course was delivered to some sections using a format known as Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL). in a specially-designed TEAL classroom, a high tech space equipped with flat screens and data ports for laptop computers (photo below). A key feature of TEAL classrooms was the “flipped” structure of the course. Students are required to read or view lecture materials BEFORE class and actively solve problems collaboratively in class. This innovative new teaching method and incorporation of both hardware and software technologies demonstrated significant improvement. In STAT 216 the percentage of students earning satisfactory grades (A, B, or C) increased from 66% (over the six semesters prior to using TEAL classrooms) to 86% in the active learning environment. 

Photo of an empt;y TEAL classroom at MSU 2018

Other innovations in STAT 216 instruction were emphasizing the value of tutoring in the Math Learning Center and hiring a Student Success Coordinator (SSC) for each class. In 2013-14, the SSCs began to work with Tenure Track Faculty course supervisors to implement strategies aimed at student learning, such as:

  • Instructor mentoring –weekly meetings with all instructors to discuss course material and grading assessments; multiple instructor observations with feedback and recommendations; lecture guides and examples for all sections covered;
  • Identifying and targeting “at-risk”, underprepared students –prerequisite diagnostics to administer early in the semester, with additional homework to help strengthen missing math skills; study groups for at-risk students throughout the semester;
  • Student support – exam review sessions, online homework sets, in-house and external instructional videos for students; review worksheets and solutions for exams; and,
  • Data collection – track performance for all students on exams, homework and section grades; conduct survey of resources each semester to evaluate the effectiveness of individual resources and provide a platform for student comments.


The following content panel presents one student's experience in the TEAL version of STAT 216.

TEAL Classrooms are Both Promising and Concerning

by Samuel McDowall The MSU Exponent, February 14, 2013, p8

     Mentioned in a recent Monday Morning Memo, the "first Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) classroom” was recently completed in Gaines Hall. President Cruzado touched on some of the technological highlights, such as tables equipped with ports to connect and project up to four separate laptops onto one flat-screen monitor. Students can switch the laptop that is projected with the push of a button. The instructor can also choose a student laptop, or their own, to project onto all screens from the terminal at the center of the room.

     Cruzado also described the classroom as designed for collaborative student problem solving. But what exactly does that mean? That is the question I asked when I received an email from my instructor a few days before the semester began, revealing that I had inadvertently signed up for a TEAL section of STAT 216, and would not be sitting through the same class that I had unfortunately not done well enough in during a previous semester.

     There would be no textbook; the $100 monster I had used before was now an expensive bookend. The class would rely almost entirely on group work and participation. Anyone who has ever had a bad group project experience can imagine my lack of excitement and only lightly concealed skepticism heading into the class.

     Now, a month into the semester, my expectations have in different ways been met, exceeded or turned upside down — beginning with the enthusiastic and sometimes aggressively friendly duo that instructs the class. By their lead we march through examples of real-world statistical problems with our faithful sidekick, TinkerPlots, a statistical modeling program. Despite adding to my skepticism by being advertised for grades 4-9, the $8 price tag was enough to get me onboard.

     To my surprise, TinkerPlots has proved incredibly useful, versatile and interactive while "fitting perfectly into the technology-oriented class. The combination of group activities with real-world examples and TinkerPlots leads us to unassumingly learn key statistical concepts with minimal lecturing.

      Like in most courses, outside reading and homework play a crucial role, however, I found myself actually doing it, even ahead of time (in case you were wondering why I had to retake the course, this sentence contains a hint). The chief reason behind this phenomenon is that I do not want to become dead weight for my group mates. If I am not prepared, it has a direct impact on their grades, and vice versa.

Peer pressure can sometimes be a useful educational tool.

     For all its promising qualities, the TEAL-style class elicits some concerns worth examining. The heavy emphasis on group work and communication may deter foreign students whose primary language is not English. Since the tests are taken collaboratively as a group, in class, students who need special testing accommodations such as extended time may be presented with a unique obstacle.

     Although there is no textbook to purchase and TinkerPlots is only $8, the class is stacked in favor of students who own a laptop — a luxury not all students can afford.

     Though confident I am learning statistics, I have yet to use a single formula that I know exists in the discipline, and that leads me to wonder if I would be prepared to take the next level of a traditional statistics course.

     It is still early in the semester, and I am interested in how the rest of the class will unfold. I believe there is a lot of promise in this style of class, but as a participant my opinion may shift as my experience continues. For now I have dubbed it “group hug stats.” Reluctant going in, but once in the thick of it, it’s not that bad.

In 2014, it was announced that Montana State University had won an "innovation in teaching technology" award from the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium for its use of technology-enhanced active learning, or TEAL, classrooms. The award recognized MSU’s innovations in teaching with technology as part of its effort to increase the percentage of students who pass their courses and go on to earn their degrees.


            2015 Assessment of the Statistics PhD Program.

By 2015, the Department of Mathematical Sciences had established a policy of conducting in-house, formal, periodic reviews of its graduate programs. For the PhD in Statistics, the review covering the period 2013-2015 was quite positive. The report stated that the program was reviewed according to the established Program Assessment plan. Of seven students attempting PhD Statistics Exams, all passed. For the PhD in Statistics, the Graduate Program Committee (henceforth, GPC) verified that two recent program elements

  • students take 3 credits of Stat 689: Doctoral Reading and Research prior to written comprehensive exam, and
  • changes made to the written exam component structure several years ago

continue to result in very high success rates within each cohort of Statistics PhD students. The changes in the exam structure were primarily modifying the exam to include questions related to the readings in Stat 689, critiquing two new research papers in the student’s research area, and performing a comprehensive data analysis problem that includes a written report. These exam components reflect whether a student is prepared to perform independent doctoral research in Statistics.

The departmental GPC determination was to continue using the current exam and defense procedures (given the excellent completion rate for PhDs) and providing current PhD students with a path to success.45

Graduate Degrees Awarded: AY 2014 - 2015

MS in Statistics degrees were awarded in 2015 to Jordan Bunger, Kevin Ferris, Lauren Goodwin, Bobby Hsu, Diana Liley, Maya Tsidulko, Leslie J. Gains-Germain, and John Allen Sherrill.

 A PhD in Statistics degree was awarded in 2015 to Patchanok Srisuradetchai.

  • Dr. Srisuradetchai’s dissertation “Robust response surface designs against missing observations” was directed by Dr. John J. Borkowski.48


2015-2016 MSU catalog51

This catalog showed few changes, the only exception being a new undergraduate course, STAT 425.

STAT 425. Biostatistical Data Analysis. 3 Credits. (3 Lec) F alternate years starting S 2015 then to be offered F even years. PREREQUISITE: STAT 411
– Statistical methodology applicable to vital statistics, life tables and survival curves, clinical trials, epidemiologic investigations, and cause-effect studies. 425 was co-convened with STAT 525 Biostatistics.

During the 2015-2016 AY there were several personnel changes pertaining to the Statistics Program, a new department head, a retirement, and two new faculty members.

Dr. Elizabeth Burroughs (2016 – present) was appointed Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Dr. Burroughs is first department head to come from the Mathematics Education faculty and the first woman to head the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Since Bill Tallman retired, the successive department heads were professors of mathematics, the only exception being the statistics faculty member Ken Tiahrt.

Dr. Jim Robison-Cox (1991 – 2016) retired after 25 years of service on the statistics faculty.

Dr. Megan Higgs (2008 - 2016) resigned her tenure-track position in Department and subsequently served as the Director of Statistical Consulting and Research Services at MSU.

In 2016, two statisticians joined the MSU faculty, Dr. Stacey Hancock and  Dr. Andrew Hoegh.
Dr. Stacey Hancock (2016 – present)  received her PhD in Statistics from Colorado State University in 2008. Her dissertation “Estimation of structural breaks in nonstationary time series” was supervised by Dr. Hariharan Iyer and Dr. Richard A. Davis. Prior to coming to MSU, Dr. Hancock had 8 years of academic experience. She was on the faculty of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine (2014-2016).54  Prior to that she was Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Clark University (2010 – 2014) and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Reed College (2008 – 2010).57

Dr. Andrew Hoegh (2016 – present)  received his PhD at Virginia Tech in 2016. His dissertation “Predictive Model Fusion: A Modular Approach to Big, Unstructured Data” was supervised by Dr. Scotland Leman.60  Dr. Hoegh’s research includes Bayesian Statistics, Statistical Ecology, Spatiotemporal Modeling, Computational Statistics, Sports Analytics and Applied Environmental and Ecological Studies.63

Graduate Degrees Awarded: AY 2015 - 2016

MS in Statistics degrees were awarded in 2016 to Douglas Scott Anderson, Elizabeth G. Arnold, Kenneth Allen Flagg, Tao L. Huang, William Jacob Johnson, Christopher Patrick Peck, Claire Catherine Matth Rasmussen, Jordan Anson Schupbach, Wilson Jay Wright, Kelsi Anne Espinoza, Brandon L. Fenton, Matthew Jay Pettigrew, Samuel C. Read, Allison S. Theobold, and Garland Lynn Will.

PhD in Statistics degrees were awarded in 2016 to Jennifer Lee Weeding, Katharine Michelle Banner, and Michael David Lerch.

  • Dr. Weeding’s dissertation “Bayesian measurement error modeling with application to the area under the curve summary measure” was directed by Dr. Mark Greenwood.66  
  • Dr. Banner’s dissertation “Is model averaging the solution for addressing model uncertainty? : methodological insights, tools for assessment, and considerations for practical use” was directed by Dr. Megan Higgs.69 
  • Dr. Lerch’s dissertation “Statistics in the presence of cost : cost-considerate variable selection and MCMC convergence diagnostics” was directed by Dr. Megan Higgs.72


MSU Core 2.0 (2015 version)

In 2015, MSU conducted a review and revision of the Core 2.0 requirements that were promulgated in 2004. The Core has become such an important component of MSU instruction that we copied its purpose from the 2015-16 catalog:

Purpose of Core 2.0

As a land-grant university, MSU-Bozeman is charged, through the Morrill Act of 1862, with providing “liberal and practical the several pursuits and professions of life.” In addition, as a member of the Montana University System, MSU is charged with providing programs that “stimulate critical analysis, clear and effective communication, and the creative process.” Students should also “broaden their cultural horizons by contact with the creative arts, sciences and the humanities, and achieve an understanding of the political, social, economic and ethical problems of the contemporary world and the relation of their studies to these problems.”

To this end, the faculty of MSU have developed a common core curriculum, called Core 2.0, for all undergraduate students in an effort to enable students to reach their intellectual potential, to become contributing members of society, and to compete more successfully in our rapidly changing and increasingly complex world.

The purpose of the Core 2.0 curriculum is to ensure a wide-ranging general education of consistent and high quality to all Montana State University students regardless of their major or area of study. Core courses allow students to reaffirm their common experiences, redefine their common goals, and confront their common problems. Core courses emphasize communication and techniques of creative inquiry in a variety of disciplines.

One of the goals of Core is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their creative and intellectual potential. Therefore, Core courses will require students to do the following75:

  1. Think, speak, and write effectively, and evaluate the oral and written expression of others.
  2. Develop learning objectives and the means to reach them, thus developing lifelong patterns of behavior which increase the potential to adapt to and create change.
  3. Exercise and expand intellectual curiosity.
  4. Think across areas of specialization and integrate ideas from a variety of academic disciplines and applied fields.
  5. Use complex knowledge in making decisions and judgments.
  6. Make discriminating moral and ethical choices with an awareness of the immediate and long-term effects on our world.
  7. Develop a critical appreciation of the ways in which we gain and apply knowledge and understanding of the universe, of society, and of ourselves.
  8. Understand the experimental methods of the sciences as well as the creative approaches of the arts.
  9. Develop an appreciation of other cultures as well as an understanding of global issues.

2016-2017 MSU Catalog

This catalog78 contains the same course list as the previous catalog. Minor adjustments were announcements of Common Exams for STAT 216Q and Common Final Only for STAT 217Q.

Events related to the Statistics Program included Dr. Steve Cherry's retirement and the creation of a new charitable fund for the Department.
Dr. Steve Cherry (1999-2017) retired in 2017 after 18 years of service.

Kenneth J. Tiahrt Fund
Department of Mathematical Science, Montana State University

In 2017, the Department established the Kenneth J. Tiahrt Fund. Dr. Ken Tiahrt was a member of the statistics faculty at Montana State from 1967 to 1994, including the 16 years he served as Department Head. Ken had a great respect for the contributions of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs), non tenure-track faculty, and staff. He witnessed the increasingly critical role these individuals filled to meet instruction, research and outreach demands within the Department. The Tiahrt Fund will honor Ken’s vision by assisting the Department’s GTAs, non-tenure track faculty, and non-faculty staff in fulfilling their aspirations via scholarships; emergency support for graduate students; and support for professional development costs such as travel, conference attendance and publication resources.81


Graduate Degrees Awarded: AY 2016 - 2017

MS in Statistics degrees were awarded in 2017 to Justin Cameron Gomez, Andrea Leigh Mack, Moses Yeboah Obiri, Paul Gary Wilson-Harmon, and Kara L. Johnson. 


2017-2018 MSU Catalog84

This catalog presents the same course list as the two previous catalogs.

2017 Report on STAT 216Q instruction

     In 2016-2017, 1,537 students took Stat 216Q in 44 sections. Prior to fall 2013, instruction followed the long-standing format of many sections, each taught independently by a Graduate Teaching Assistant or a non-Tenure Track faculty member, all supervised by a tenure track faculty member. Under that system, it was not unusual for 40% of the students to fail (i.e., get a grade of D, F, or W). MSU conducted a pilot test of the Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) method in 2012-2013. The results were very encouraging; the DFW percentage declined by a significant amount.

     By 2017, after broader implementation of the TEAL approach, the STAT 216Q the percentage of DFW grades fell to 20%, half the 2012 percentage.87  It is important to point out that in the 2012-2017 period, there were course improvements in addition to TEAL.

     One was to appoint a Student Success Coordinator (SSC) for each class. In 2013-14, the SSCs began to work with Tenure Track Faculty course supervisors to implement strategies aimed at student learning, such as:

  • Instructor mentoring –weekly meetings with all instructors to discuss course material and grading assessments; multiple instructor observations with feedback and recommendations; lecture guides and examples for all sections covered;
  • Identifying and targeting “at-risk”, underprepared students –prerequisite diagnostics to administer early in the semester, with additional homework to help strengthen missing math skills; study groups for at-risk students throughout the semester;
  • Student support – exam review sessions, online homework sets, in-house and external instructional videos for students; review worksheets and solutions for exams; and,
  • Data collection – track performance for all students on exams, homework and section grades; conduct survey of resources each semester to evaluate the effectiveness of individual resources and provide a platform for student comments.

     By all measures, SSC involvement was successful. The University responded by investing base funding into the SSC program. The Department continues to assess the effectiveness of the SSC program annually, and to refine the specific roles and duties of the SSCs.

     Another improvement was that the Department increasingly encouraged students to seek tutoring in the Math Learning Center (MLC). Tutoring was demonstratively effective. Considering only “at-risk” students, those who were frequent users of the MLC had a success percentage 20 percentage point higher than infrequent users.

     Given that about 10% of MSU undergraduates take STAT 216Q each academic year, coupled with our opinion that statistical thinking is a crucial skill for separating fact from fiction, we applaud the efforts expended by the Department and University to improve student success in this course.


This catalog shows that there were some important changes in personnel and in consulting services. A new MS degree program in Data Science was added.

At the end of the 2018 calendar year, Dr. Laura Hildreth (2013 – 2018) left her statistics professorship at Montana State University  to take a position as a Research Staff Member in the Institute for Defense Analyses, a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Two statisticians joined the faculty, Nicole Carnegie in 2017 and  Katie Banner in 2018.

Dr. Nicole Bohme Carnegie (2017 - present)  received the PhD degree in Statistics from the University of Washington in 2009. Her dissertation “A comparison of alternative methodologies for estimation of HIV incidence”, was supervised by Dr. Martina Morris and Dr. Mark Stephen Handcock. Dr. Carnegie had 8 years of research and academic experience prior to coming to MSU. She spent the first year after her doctorate studies as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Statistics, Pennsylvania State University. During 2010 – 2012 she was Research Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for the Promotion of Research Involving Innovative Statistical Methodology, New York University. During 2012 – 2014 she was Research Associate, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health. During 2014 – 2017, she was Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.90

Dr. Katie Banner (2018 - present) received the PhD degree in Statistics from Montana State University in 2016. Her dissertation “Is model averaging the solution for addressing model uncertainty? : methodological insights, tools for assessment, and considerations for practical use” was supervised by Dr. Megan Higgs.93  She believes that statisticians have a responsibility to not only develop methodology for addressing specific research questions, but to also provide tools for assessing when those methods are appropriate to use. She is interested in developing tools and guidelines (e.g., R packages for visualizing data/results) for practitioners to aid in understanding complex (and often popular) methods so that they can make informed decisions about when to use them.96  Before joining the statistics program, Dr. Banner had two years research experience as a post-doc Ecological Statistician in the Department of Ecology at MSU.99


In 2018, Dr. Lillian S. Lin (2014-2018) retired from her position as Director of the Statistical Consulting Center.102

Dr. Megan Higgs (2018-2019) became Director of MT INBRE Bioinformatics & Biostatistics Core, Director of Statistical Consulting and Research Services (SCRS), and Associate Research Professor of Statistics.Dr. Higgs was interested in Bayesian decision analysis, problems involving multiple spatial and/or temporal scales, and adaptive sampling methods. She believed statisticians, and scientists in general, should spend more time considering the philosophical and general practice issues involved in using statistical inference to inform science and management.105

The Statistical Consulting Center was renamed: Statistical Consulting and Research Services (SCRS), pronounced "scissors." It was relocated to 103A AJM Johnson Hall (formerly the Math-Physics Building).  The SCRS web page explained,

we offer statistical collaboration to MSU students, faculty, and non-affiliates dependent on consultant availability and funding. SCRS is currently supported primarily by  Montana INBRE, CAIRHE, AI-AN CTRP, Mountain West CTR-IN. The current director and graduate student research assistants are housed in [103A AJM Johnson Hall] 108


Graduate Degrees Awarded: AY 2017 - 2018

MS in Statistics degrees were awarded in 2018 to Esther Ruth Birch, Steven H. Durtka, Jacob Wesley Dym, Nnamdi Chika Ezike, Walker Ronald Hopkins, David Emmanuel Lartey, Elijah S. Meyer, Savannah J. Mooney, Priscilla Serwaa Omari-Baah, Julia C. Platt, Michaela Marie Powell, Daniel Nii Kwatei Quartey, Jacob Larsen Rich, Christian Alexander Stratton, and Eric Brent Loftsgaarden.


NEW DEGREE - MS in Data Science
In 2018, the Board of Regents approved a Master’s Degree in Data Science at Montana State University.111 The program provides a balance between the theoretical underpinnings of essential aspects of Data Science and the practical skills needed in a work environment. This degree includes courses from computer science, mathematics and statistics. See the program guidelines.


2018 - 2019 MSU Catalog114

This catalog presented the same course list as the previous catalog.

On July 1, 2019, Dr. Megan Higgs, Research Professor of Statistics and Director of  Statistical Consulting, resigned her positions at MSU. She left to manage a company she founded, Critical Inference LLC, which is both a private consulting firm and a blog about "reflecting on how and why we, as a society and culture, tend to use statistical methods and results in Science and decision making."

Dr. Mark Greenwood was appointed Director of Statistical Consulting and Research Services.

Graduate Degrees Awarded: AY 2018 - 2019

MS in Statistics degrees were awarded to Tristan Kane Anacker, Noah Christopher Benedict, Laura Lartey, Jordan Richard Love, Wyatt Gabriel Madden, Sarah Grace McKnight, Bright Owusu, Laurie Kay Rugemer, Bradley George West at the Spring, 2019, Commencement and to Caitlin R. Rowan, Rachel Rebecca Wyand at the Fall, 2019, Commencement.

The commencement announcements of candidates for the PhD degree in statistics listed Christopher R. Barbour (Fall, 2018) and Tan V. Tran (Fall, 2019). 

This concludes the topic "Statistics Program at MSU"
in the 2019 edition of
History of the Statistics Program at Montana State University.

We have documented the Statistics faculty, statistics degrees offered, and other information related to the Statistics Program in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the end of the second decade of the 21st century. To access that information: About MSU Statistics Program in 2019.

Next Topic: Notable Advances in Statistics: 2010-2019
Table of Contents

Last revised: 2021-09-0419