Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI)

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SAMSI brings together researchers from applied mathematics, statistics and numerous areas of science to foster joint research and collaboration. It has a direct impact on people’s careers at all levels from undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows to junior and senior researchers, and through our education and outreach programs, on undergraduates and K-12 teachers. SAMSI programs cover many diverse areas where there is a need for statistical or mathematical research, such as environment and ecology, biology and genetics, medicine and health, and the social sciences. Its impact on society relies on the application of statistics and applied mathematics to problems of very broad societal concern.

In fiscal year 2015-16, SAMSI reported approximately 90 undergraduates that have attended undergraduate workshops and 30 graduate students from 28 universities attended their graduate student Industrial Mathematical and Statistical Modeling workshop. Four graduate-level courses were taught so far during the 2016-17 academic year, two (on Analytical Methods and Applications to Astrophysics and Astronomy and on Time Series Methods for Astronomy) associated with the ASTRO program, two (Numerical Optimization and Applications – Part I and Numerical Optimization and Applications – Part II) associated with the OPT program.

During 2016-17, SAMSI sponsored one Kenan Fellow, Angela Stabler of Enloe High School in Raleigh, on the topic of “Statistics on the Running Track.” The SAMSI mentor was Richard Smith, Director of SAMSI. The project also led to a number of suggestions about improving the qualification standards for state high school track championships, which Ms. Stabler and Prof. Smith have discussed with the head coach of track and cross-country at Enloe. From the students’ point of view, the advantage of such a project is providing a practical example of applied statistics being used to answer questions to which the students could easily relate, including data generated by the students themselves. New SAMSI research programs for 2017-2018 include the following: (1) Program on Mathematical and Statistical Methods for Climate and Earth Systems and (2) Program on Quasi-Monte Carlo and High-Dimensional Sampling Methods for Applied Mathematics (QMC).