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Cooperation Between University and Industry Statisticians

Ronald D. Snee
The American Statistician
Vol. 38, No. 1 (Feb., 1984), pp. 15-20
DOI: 10.2307/2683551
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2683551
Page Count: 6
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Cooperation Between University and Industry Statisticians
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Abstract

There is a long history of cooperation between statisticians in industry and academia in the United States. This cooperation has received increased interest with the decreasing growth of student populations, reduced federal funding for academic research, and increased awareness of the importance of practical problems in the development of statistics. The various methods of interaction and cooperation at local levels and through professional societies are reviewed. We point out that fruitful cooperation begins with academic and industry statisticians getting to know each other and understanding each other's needs and objectives. Both parties have a responsibility to initiate such discussions. Industry must communicate who they are and what they do and suggest ways that universities can help. Universities can stimulate interaction by suggesting how industry can aid the educational process, by offering degree programs and short courses for industry, and by encouraging companies to use statistics in areas where they have not already been used. No single approach will work in all situations. Each program should be tailored to the needs of the organizations involved. Cooperative programs work best when both the university and company can gain clear benefits. Statisticians must recognize that computer science and some fields of engineering are experiencing many of the same pressures as statistics and that companies will view statistics as being in competition with these fields when developing and funding cooperative programs.

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