Math Department Introduces New Statistics Major

by Jennifer Arias

3 mins read

For the first time ever, the Drew mathematics department will be offering a statistics major starting in the 2021-2022 school year. A 2016 donation to the mathematics department recently enabled them to implement the new major.

In October 2016, the Drew mathematics department received a $3 million donation with the promise of an additional $2 million donation in the future. Given by former department chair Dr. Norma Gilbert, the donation allowed for the program to expand considerably. Beginning in 2017, students were introduced to statistics and data science minors to continue their education with a Master’s degree in data analytics. Most recently, the addition of a statistics major grants opportunities for mathematics majors that were once inconceivable. 

Drew’s faculty has been pursuing means to expand the department with this additional funding. Their hope is to continue to grow the department to attract new students with an interest in these disciplines and provide more options for existing students. Compared to a general mathematics major, statistics is distinguished by work with data and application. Statistics also offers the option of an interdisciplinary approach for data analytics in fields such as psychology, epidemiology and biology. A 2021 CNBC article also ranked statistics in the top 10 majors that have the highest starting salaries for college graduates.

Dr. Sarah Abramowitz, the chair of mathematics, computer science, cybersecurity and statistics departments, recommends that students try a class or two in statistics. Introduction to Statistics is a common requirement among several majors, but she also recommends the Introduction to Data Science course.

“Students can get great jobs majoring in anything having taken a couple of classes such as statistics, building a foundation that can set you apart from others,” Abramowitz said. 

Abramowitz and the rest of the department worked hard to find a balance between the study of statistics and its application in research projects while developing the coursework and guidelines of the major. The course requirements are intended for students to utilize the major in several different ways that suit different goals and needs. 

For more information on the mathematic department, students can reach out to

Featured image courtesy of the Drew Mathematics Department

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