Past, Present and Future of Statistics
Statistics as data is ancient, but as a discipline of study and research has a short
history. Courses leading to degrees in statistics have been introduced in
universities some sixty to seventy years ago. During the last seventy-five years, it
has developed as a powerful blend of science, technology and art for solving
problems in all areas of human endeavor. Nowadays statistics is used in
scientific research, economic development through optimum use of resources,
increasing industrial productivity, medical diagnosis, legal practice, disputed
authorship, and optimum decision making at individual and institutional levels.
What is the future of statistics dominated by information technology
encompassing the whole of communications, interaction with intelligent systems,
massive databases, and complex information processing networks?
The current statistical methodology based on probabilistic models applied on
small data sets appears to be inadequate to meet the needs of the society in
terms of quick processing of data and making the information available for
practical purposes. Adhoc methods are being put forward under the title Data
Mining by computer scientists and engineers to meet the needs of customers.
The talk will review the current state of the art and controversies in statistics and
discuss possible future developments considering the availability of large data
sets, enormous computing power and efficient optimization techniques.