Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Statistics Day

On Feb. 3, 2012, the Department of Mathematics, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, TX  organized the first annual Statistics Day.  The purpose of TAMUK “Statistics Day” was to increase students and faculty awareness of the important role that statistics plays in our everyday lives particularly its uses in a variety of disciplines. You may think you don’t use statistics yourself (a misconception in its own right) but rest assured statistics is being used on you!! (Dr. Stephen A. Sedory)

The Statistics Day was opened at 9:00 am by Department Chair Professor Ravi Agarwal with an introduction that these types of activities will be organized in the department on a regular basis. The sign-in sheet shows that over 190 people participated during the entire day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Only 25 people signed up for lunch and there were 8 speakers.         

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Fig. 1. Attendees at 9:00am

Professor Ravi Agarwal opens the Statistics Day

The first presentation was given by guest speaker Dr. Wenyaw Chan, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, Houston, Texas.  The title of his talk was “Some Interesting Statistical methods in Public Health Application.” Two days later Dr. Chan wrote, “I would like to share good news. The misclassification paper I discussed on Statistics Day has been accepted for publication by Statistical Methods for Medical Research. He added, “I am very proud of being a part of this important event.”

He mentioned that, in practice, observations can be misclassified or inaccurately measured due to poor collection methods, limited sensitivity and specificity of the tests, recall bias, etc. Misclassification in either binary covariates or outcome in binary regression can lead to substantial bias in estimation and power loss in hypothesis testing. Most statistical methods require the use of a gold standard. The gold standard may be unavailable, impractical, too expensive, time consuming, or unethical to perform on all patients. Likelihood approaches on this problem often involves complicated integrations EM algorithm and MCMC are widely used.


 Fig. 2. Dr.  Wenyaw Chan  presenting on the Statistics Day


Dr. Chan also discussed their graduate program which may help to students who attended his talk to decide on their career.

Our second speaker was Dr. Aden Ahmed, Department of Mathematics, TAMUK, with his talk titled Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays. Today game theory plays an increasingly important role in all sciences (e.g. biology, physics, computer science, and engineering) and Dr. Ahmed’s discussed an interesting situation in which game theory helps to explain how two types of birds of the same species can co-exist together in fixed proportions in a territory whose value in terms of evolutionary fitness is given. The presentation provoked a good deal of curiosity and interest from the audience which was mostly composed of students.  D. Ahmed believes that one reason for this is that game theory and the linear algebra of the quaternions readily lend themselves to undergraduate research.

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 Fig. 3. Dr. Aden Ahmed presenting on the Statistics Day.

Dr. Ahmed in happy mood after his talk. 

The third talk was delivered by Dr. Stephen Sedory, Department of Mathematics, TAMUK.  The title of the talk was "Statistics in Demography".  His topic was very interesting because demographic statistics is being used by leaders at the national and international levels to make policies which we all have to follow to live in society.  He explained the meaning of the population pyramid which a leader should be aware of before making any type of policies.  Some young people from TAMUK are destined to become future leaders.  One day when they need it, they will recall that Dr. Sedory presented something related to demography on the Statistics Day in Kingsville, and will try to find more details about this topic to succeed in their life after TAMUK



 Fig. 4. Dr. Stephen A. Sedory  presenting on the Statistics Day

Dr. Sedory continues laughing after his talk 

The fourth speaker was Dr. Cheng C. Chen, Department of Mathematics, TAMUK. The title of his talk was, “Why US electronic and car industries cannot compete.”  Dr. Chen told the audience that US electronic devices cannot tolerate too much fluctuation in voltages and American drivers never learn how to drive a car on a road with dips as happens very frequently in Asia.


 Fig. 5. Dr. Cheng C. Chen  presenting on the Statistics Day

Dr. Vincent Louis presented on “The Prominence of Quantitative Methodology in American Sociology.” He argued that sociology as a discipline is becoming overly quantified, despite the long tradition of using qualitative methods such as observations and other ethnographic methods to study how people create order and disorder as members of social groups. According to Dr. Louis, the publication of Emile Durkeim’s seminal work, Suicide marks the starting point of statistical analyses as a tool for describing social life and predicting human behavior in sociology. Dr. Louis noted that the rise in the use of statistics coincided with the development of statistical techniques as well as with technological innovations, particularly the computers accompanied by the development of the requisite statistical software. Dr. Louis reported searching the Internet for articles using statistics published in academic sociological journals. In a preliminary rough search online, he found a total of more than 50000 such articles published between 1900 and 2010, with about 25,000 published in 2010 alone. Dr. Louis believes this to be an underestimation, and is tweaking his search to gather more accurate information on articles that use statistics as the main methodology. Finally, Dr. Louis expand his search to find the number of sociological journal articles that used qualitative methods as the main methodological focus, intending to compare the two sets of results.


 Fig. 6. Dr. Vincent Louis  presenting on the Statistics Day

The sixth speaker was Dr. Margaret Land from TX-ESA Environmental Consultants, Kingsville.  The title of her talk was: Statistics and the Environment.  She discussed experience with environmental studies for wind farms, effect on environment, and how bats get killed by the low pressure near the blades of turbines.  She started with origin of Statistics as administrative data and proceeded to history.  She mentioned that  Sir R.A. Fisher, who is now called the Father of Modern Statistics, was among the first to develop mathematical base. He originated experimental design. Preceding him was Karl Pearson, the first modern statistician, who developed correlation coefficient, contingency tables and much more. He met his future wife in 1888 at a “Women's liberation” meeting.


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 Fig. 7. Dr. Land Presenting on Statistics Day



The seventh speaker was Dr. Kalidas Jana from the University of Texas at Brownsville. The title of his talk was: “Asymptotic Behavior of the Dickey-Fuller and the Augmented Dickey-Fuller Statistics under Spurious Logarithms.” He was inspired by “Spurious logarithms and the KPSS statistic.” In his talk he showed how the limiting distributions of the Dickey-Fuller and the Augmented Dickey-Fuller statistics are affected if the true time series is I(1) in level but logarithm has been spuriously applied to it.


 Fig. 8. Dr.Kalidas Jana presenting on the Statistics Day

The last speaker was Mr. Cheon-Sig Lee, Department of Mathematics, Costal Bend College, Alice, TX. He presented a joint talk with Dr. Stephen A. Sedory and Sarjinder Singh entitled, “Randomized Response Techniques: Privacy Protection.”  His talk was similar to the joint talk delivered by Dr. Singh at the 58th International Statistical Institute, World Statistics Congress Conference, Ireland.


 Fig. 9. Mr. Cheog-Sig Lee presenting on the Statistics Day.

Mr. Cheon-Sig Lee, Dr. Sarjinder Singh and Dr. Stephen A. Sedory (Joint picture of the three presenters)


Prepared by:  Sarjinder Singh, Department of Mathematics, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX.


This page was last updated on: May 09, 2013