I, too, love this question!

Many statisticians I know (including myself) have a bachelors degree in mathematics.

Three things led me to get a higher degree in biostatistics (pre-WWW).

1. As a sophomore or junior in college, a Physics lab that requested I "fit a line" to the data. (my math background knew there was a better way than eyeballing it, as many in the class did, but I had not had "statistics training" to do it - so I independently looked up how and fit the line using OLS by hand (took a good hour or more on my rusty bought in 1986 TI "scientific" calculator - for those who remember "scientific" meant it had square root, exponent, and log functions!)).

2. As a junior I was looking through a book for "graduate programs in arts and sciences" - and I saw biostatistics, which seemed like a natural combination of science projects that I did in grade school and high school and all the "higher math" that I learned in college.

3. As a senior, I took Probability and Statistics in the Mathematics department. It was mostly mathematical, but there was something "different" - we had to estimate an MLE. Somehow I knew taking the log would make things easier, but many other math majors in the class did not think of that. It seemed that there was a slightly different intuition in that class than in most of my other courses.

I think it would be really hard to be a theoretical statistician without the (Calculus and Linear Algebra based) math background.

I know MANY excellent applied statisticians that do not have the (Calculus and Linear Algebra based) math background.

So, my take:

Perhaps we should consider the definition of Mathematics.

Science direct posits that "[M]

**athematics... **is the science of the forms of intuition (space and time which are conditions under which all objects of experience are made known to us)."

If one considers the larger definition of mathematics, it is hard to say that statistics is not a branch of mathematics.

However, if by "mathematics" one simply thinks of the usual math curriculum, then I think it is more a Venn-diagram situation where there is overlap, but mutually exclusive areas.

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Mary Kwasny

Professor

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Original Message:

Sent: 06-29-2022 16:37

From: Nelson Lipshutz

Subject: Statistics and Mathematics

Hi Michael,

Speaking as a recovering quantum field theorist, I believethat statistics is a mathematical science. Statistics, like physics, chemistry, biological sciences, etc., does not focus on mathematics as such. Mathematics is a means, not an end for these disciplines. They simply use it to address topics that are NOT mathematics, but concern different areas of human knowledge.

That's my two cents.

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Nelson Lipshutz

President, Regulatory Research Corporation

Original Message:

Sent: 06-29-2022 16:18

From: Elaine Eisenbeisz

Subject: Statistics and Mathematics

Hi Michael,

Way back in the day when I was an undergrad the maths were considered humanities and my math and stats classes were under the humanities dept.

I guess i just made it more confusing ;)

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Elaine Eisenbeisz

Owner and Principal Statistician

Omega Statistics

Original Message:

Sent: 06-29-2022 15:53

From: Michael Anderson

Subject: Statistics and Mathematics

Hello all,

I haven't given this much thought, but with a current collaboration, I can use your knowledge on the topic.

Is the field of statistics a branch of mathematics, science or something else all together. The always reliable WWW is all over the place on this topic saying:

- Statistics = branch of mathematics

- It is a separate discipline and not a branch of mathematics.

- Statistics is a branch of applied mathematics.

- Statistics is a mathematical science.

- Statistics is an applied science.

- Many universities have their Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Some solid wisdom on the topic would be appreciated.

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Michael J. Anderson

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