The fundamental problem of scientific progress, and a fundamental one of everyday life, is that of learning from experience --- Harold Jefferys, 1939.
Probability provides the conceptual foundation and mathematical language for the logic of uncertainty and induction. Statistics is concerned with procedures for the acquisition, management, exploration and use of information, to learn from experience in situations of uncertainty, and to make decisions under risk. Statistical practice includes: design of experiments and of sampling surveys; exploration, summarization and display of observational data; drawing inferences, and assessing their uncertainty; building mathematical models for systems with stochastic components.
The statistician today is a partner in most scientific and technologic endeavors: to decide whether a new vaccine will be effective; to estimate the cost of life insurance for middle age smokers; to resolve and sharpen images obtained by ultrasonography; to gauge the uniformity of an optical fiber; to figure the amount of timber in a forest; to create a computer model for a network of neurons; to forecast the weather and the price of copper; to measure unemployment and poverty; to evaluate discrimination in society; to improve quality in industrial manufacturing; to assess the reliability of a jet engine; to find the best variety of a tropical crop; to guide the exploration of ore deposits; and, of course, to predict batting performance in baseball.
The Bachelor of Science program in Statistics at the University of Washington offers broad based, flexible educational pathways emphasizing the theoretical, practical, or computational aspects of probability and statistics. The program serves the needs of future statisticians in science, industry, business, and government, as well as provides the necessary background and stimulation for graduate study; it also offers excellent opportunities for double-majoring in Statistics and either Mathematics or Computer Science.
(Revised November 2010)