DataX Salons are informal conversations for UCLA faculty, staff and students to become acquainted with a diverse group of UCLA data science, social science, physical and life science, and humanities scholars working broadly across issues at the intersection of data and society.
This was a discussion between Interim Director Safiya Noble and Mark S. Handcock about the discipline of statistics and how it related to Data X.
The term ‘Statistics’ is just an archaic word for ‘data’ so that the subject of the field is data. Statistics is the only discipline in which all faculty research and educational activities are focused on the collection and analysis of data. The Department of Statistics teaches over 40 thousand credit hours of data science per year, with our Statistics and Data Science Major increasing by 300% over the last decade. Statistics is also the #1 department in graduate service teaching. The discussion moved to social statistics, the role statistical analysis has in recognizing social inequality and the importance of recognizing the social construction of data.