Robert Weiss's OLD Homepage

NEW homepage. Final switchover not for a while. This set of pages still active, but updates will only be made at the new homepage.

2014 Biostat 236 Longitudinal Data.
OLD 2012 Biostat 236 Longitudinal Data.
NEW Modeling Longitudinal Data Book Website.
OLD Modeling Longitudinal Data Book Website.
Biostat 234: Bayesian Statistics.
Biostat 230 Statistical Graphics.

Biostat 411 Analysis of Correlated Data.

Biostat 251: Multivariate Biostatistics.

Office Hours.

Google Scholar Publication List.
Some Technical Reports (old).

My Links.

Research and Teaching Interests.
The Purpose of Statistics (Technical).
MISSLINK: The Mathematical Institute for Statistical, Scientific and Logical Inquiry into Natural Knowledge.
Statistical Consulting for Legal, Scientific and Business Problems.

Robert Weiss
Department of Biostatistics        e-mail: robweiss at
UCLA School of Public Health                FAX: (310) 267-2113
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772 USA            Phone: (310) 206-9626

R. A. Fisher. Presidential Address to the First Indian Statistical Congress, 1938.

To consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask him to conduct a post mortem examination. He can perhaps say what the experiment died of.

Wall Street Journal Blog The Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik quoting William Kahn:

"Every place where statistics has touched, it's basically revolutionized the profession," said William Kahn, New York-based head of science in commercial insurance for Chartis Insurance.

Hal Varian, Google Chief Economist:

I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I'm joking, but who would've guessed that computer engineers would've been the sexy job of the 1990s? The ability to take data-to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it-that's going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, not only at the professional level but even at the educational level for elementary school kids, for high school kids, for college kids. Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it.

I think statisticians are part of it, but it's just a part. You also want to be able to visualize the data, communicate the data, and utilize it effectively. But I do think those skills-of being able to access, understand, and communicate the insights you get from data analysis-are going to be extremely important. Managers need to be able to access and understand the data themselves.
Not everyone knows that visualization and communication and utilization of data are key parts of the Statistician's tool kit. Come to UCLA Biostat and learn to be a Statistician.

Chrystia Freeland, Managing Editor, Financial Times, speaking on CNN "Your Money" 11/29/2009:

I have a new area to throw into the mix which you might all sigh about but I was talking to some senior Silicon Valley executives and they said that they most wanted their kids to grow up to be was - hold your breath - statisticians. They think that is where the jobs of the future will be. Because one of the things that technology has done is allowed us to collect vast amounts of data in almost every business. The people who are able to in a sophisticated and practical way analyze that data are going to have terrific jobs.

Excerpt from Time magazine on-line. Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sex in the Syllabus


Likewise, Catherine Sherwood-Puzello, who covers pornography in her human-sexuality class at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, the home of sex pioneer Alfred Kinsey's institute, displays Michelangelo's David and Playboy covers in her class but "no X-rated movies," she says. "Those are not a good way to explain porn," which she believes is best taught with the same dispassion with which one would teach a course on statistics.

She may teach without passion. Those of us in the know understand that one can and should be passionate about statistics.

Statistician, walking down the street
Statistician, the kind I like to meet
I don't believe you, you're not the truth
No one computes as good as you
Oh my

-- With apologies to Roy Orbison

The second nonabsolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of the most bizarre of mathematical concepts, a recipriversexcluson, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive. Recipriversexclusons now play a vital part in many branches of math, including statistics and accountancy and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else's Problem field.

-- Douglas Adams, Life the Universe and Everything

This is it, we're all here right now in this moment.
There really isn't anything else going on right now. We win.
-- Shelly Weiss

Just remember what the Maasai say

"I'm not lucky," said the hyena, "I just have strong legs."

The better chess player always gets lucky.

-- Old Chess Proverb

It is easier to make a good discovery when you are ignorant than when you know it all.

-- Old Scientist's Dictum.

He who consumes the most calories, wins.
-- Excommunicated Dietician.

Nothing is certain but death and taxes, and to study those you still need Statistics.
-- Robert Weiss

Early to bed, early to rise. One out of two ain't bad.
-- Anon (with apologies to Ben Franklin)

Reported in Feb 2004:

Asked about the 2.6 million jobs forecast, McClellan said, "The president is interested in actual jobs being created rather than economic modeling."
He quoted Bush as saying, "I'm not a statistician. I'm not a predictor."
"We are interested in reality," McClellan said.

So how'd that work out?

Everyone should learn statistics. From Washington Monthly 20120511.

On the importance of statistical literacy. From Washington Monthly 20120512.