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Department of Statistics

Alumni Testimonials

Our programs have been helping our graduates attain a large range of career goals for decades. 

Brittany Walter

Brittany S. Walter CGS-AS '16

ORISE Researcher, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Department of Defense: "The Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics was a great way to supplement my Ph.D. in Anthropology while at USC. Most of the courses needed to complete the degree also fulfilled course requirements for my Ph.D. Additionally, the availability of distance classes was convenient as I collected data abroad. With a busy schedule of teaching courses and writing my dissertation, I was able to “attend” class when it worked for me. Ultimately, the Certificate added quantitative and analytical expertise to my CV, making me a more competitive job candidate in my field, and helped me secure a position as an ORISE Researcher in the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency of the Department of Defence identifying remains of fallen soldiers." 

Eren Bilen CGS-AS '16

Ph.D. Candidate, Economics: "My first exposure to statistics was during my undergraduate studies in economics. At that time, I could not fully understand how and why statistics worked even though I was able to construct confidence intervals and test hypotheses. It was only after taking STAT 700 – Applied Statistics I as part of my M.A. in economics that I was truly introduced to the beauty of statistics. I was able to make the connections that R.A. Fisher, Karl Pearson, and many other great statisticians showed a century ago. The extra time spent in class interpreting the obtained results was greatly appreciated. After all, statistics is about extracting information from data and interpreting it. Moreover, by using programming languages R and SAS, STAT 540 – Computing in Statistics, tremendously helped me see the statistical forces in action. For instance, it was really enlightening to learn how to conduct a Monte-Carlo experiment to witness how the Central Limit Theorem works as the sample size gets larger. After taking these courses, I was definitely interested in learning more about statistics. Thus, I decided to sign up for a Certificate of Applied Statistics – CAS and enroll in more courses offered by the department to further broaden my knowledge in statistics. What I learned while working on my CAS is invaluable to me as a Ph.D. candidate in economics. I use critical statistical thinking whenever I encounter an econometric problem and apply fundamental statistical techniques to solve it by using computer programming. " 

Duane Day, MAS '15

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Middle Georgia State University : "Earning my MAS through the distance program at USC was one of the best experiences of my academic career. After receiving my Bachelors of Science in Mathematics, I knew I wanted to pursue a graduate degree. My life was already busy running a college math tutoring center with a new addition to the family on the way. I just could not travel to attend classes and then I discovered the distance program at USC. The MAS program is perfect for those who are unable to attend regular class meetings but still want to gain a greater knowledge about statistics. I loved all of the professors I had during my time there. They are extremely helpful and always willing to help their students be successful. The courses are designed so that you almost forget you are watching lectures from afar. I truly felt like I was in the classroom for each lecture. The USC distance program operates its online environment the way all online courses should. The MAS program has the right amount of rigor to keep the mathematician in me occupied while staying relevant to the material. I highly recommend the Bayesian Statistics, Design of Experiments, Multivariate Statistics, and Response Surface Methodology courses. I now teach math and statistics courses to undergrads at MGA. I teach several statistics classes every semester and have even had the opportunity to teach R in special topics courses. The education I received through USC has greatly impacted the way in which I teach the subject, and I am very grateful for that. If you are looking to get a secondary degree that is flexible in schedule, has great professors, and is designed the right way, then I encourage you to look no further than MAS distance program at the University of South Carolina." 


Mohammed Quasem, MAS '13

Instructor, USC Department of Statistics: "I have been teaching undergraduate Mathematics from Pre-Algebra to Calculus sequence and meanwhile fostering my love for statistics by being a MAS (Master of Applied Statistics) graduate student. The MAS program allowed me to interact with excellent faculty at USC while doing what I like the best teaching. The convenience of watching lectures online and turning in assignments online cannot be beat. The always helpful and outstanding teachers have always been there if I needed any questions answered or to clarify any concepts. When I received the appointment as faculty in the same department it was a dream come true to work alongside such wonderful faculty and the best of teachers I have ever encountered. I would recommend the CAS and MAS program to anyone who wants to expand their learning of practical applications of Statistics taught by the finest professional and humanistic practitioner of USC statists department." 

Vessemil Koltchev, MIS '10

Statistical Analyst - Predictive Modeler: " As a Statistical Analyst - Predictive Modeler I would like to say that the USC Graduate Program in Applied Statistics (formerly Industrial Statistics) gave me a valuable fundament of knowledge that I now utilize in my current professional role. As the name of the program says, it consists mainly of applied courses. They are taught by excellent professors who emphasize the skills students need as professionals working in industry. The option to not attend classes and watch their recorded versions gave me the advantage of taking the program without interrupting my regular job. Thus, I highly recommend this program for people who want to pursue a Graduate Degree in Statistics and don't have the ability to stop working at the same time. It was a pleasure for me to be a student in the Department of Statistics and I am proud to be a USC graduate."

Thomas LaBone, MIS '10

Health Physicist: "As part of my duties as a health physicist I look at a lot of data and try to make sense of it. Starting with the very first course in the MAS program (formerly the MIS Program) I found myself learning something in class and then applying it right away at work. Overall I have found my experience in the MAS program to be rather enjoyable and rewarding, both personally and professionally. I can wholeheartedly recommend the program to anyone who wants to improve their applied data analysis skills."

Holly Battenhouse

Holly Battenhouse, MIS '09

Faculty-Level Research Associate, Medical University of South Carolina: "The distance education portion of the MIS program allowed me to get my masters while remaining employed as a full-time statistician. I was able to apply information from my courses to the projects I was currently working on at my job. This both reinforced what I was learning in the classroom and allowed me to provide new solutions for reporting at work. The program also prepared me to accept a new job in clinical trials. I would highly recommend the program. I received both my B.S. and MIS from the Department of Statistics at the University of South Carolina and feel that the professors and department as a whole have been very supportive and instrumental in furthering my career."

Mariana Tome Drane

Dr. Mariana Toma-Drane, CAS '05, MIS '06, Ph.D. '08

CDC and Prevention Fellow, Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute: "I have been in the field of medicine and public health for more than a decade. Nowadays medicine and public health are done differently than when I started first. To get the entire understanding of the health and epidemiological events I had to create a bird’s eye prospective. While in the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, I felt the need to have some statistical information, techniques and methods. So I asked for help in the STAT department. Immediately I was advised and welcomed with open arms. At first, I got a Certificate of Applied Statistics – CAS. Soon I realized that my statistical journey had just begun. The support and encouragements of especially my academic advisor, Dr. Don Edwards, and all my professors and staff in the STAT department made me comeback for more. Thus, sooner than I expected I graduated with a Masters in Industrial Statistics (MIS) now Masters of Applied Statistics (MAS). This effort was very rewarding to me. My approach and understanding of health events changed for ever, changes that are reflected on my research. I was presented two consecutive sessions, 2006 and 2008 with the “The New Investigator’s Award” by the American Statistical Association Conference on Radiation and Health. In addition, at every job that I applied my statistical degree and skills stand out and make me more marketable as compared to other candidates. Moreover, I am teaching statistics to non statistical major within the United States as well as abroad."

Steve Colohan

Stephen Colohan, MIS '02

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Portfolio Manager at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan: "My job is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. I am the LSS Green Belt Portfolio Manager responsible for training and mentoring Army Soldiers as Green Belts. While this is not the first time the Army has done Green Belt training it the first time this time this training has been done in an FOB (Forward Operating Base) in a War Zone. I also work on my own enterprise wide projects as a LSS MBB. The projects we run cover a wide array of process disciplines, many of which I cannot speak about. The bottom line is we are here to help the war fighter."

Mary Alice Barth

Mary Alice Barth, MIS '99

Statistical Analyst, Palmetto GBA: "The MIS program was a great fit for me to extend my knowledge of sampling, data analysis and computing while I was already working full-time as a statistical analyst developing statistical methodologies and analyzing national Medicaid and Medicare claims data to help ensure claims are paid appropriately. Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. The requirements for my job changed and a masters degree was a must shortly after I received my MIS."

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