Mimio Educator

      STEM CAREERS: Mathematician and Statistician

      Posted by Hannah Olson on Thu, Nov 10, 2022


      A mathematician is someone who uses their knowledge to solve mathematical problems as they relate to real-world situations. Mathematicians are scientists who, with their specialized knowledge and professional methodology, approach many of the imposing problems presented in related scientific fields. Likewise, a statistician collects and analyzes data, looking for patterns that explain behavior or describe the world as it is. 

      Many people are familiar with mathematicians and statisticians in academic environments where they study and develop new mathematical rules, theories, and concepts, but these individuals are associated with other areas of our lives as well. Mathematicians make it possible to send secure emails and buy things online. Both careers are essential in analyzing data and designing accurate models in fields as diverse as biology and finance. Dr. Christine Andrews-Larson, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Florida State University shares some of the impact mathematicians have in different fields: 

      For example, through mathematical modeling, we can better understand brain development and functioning as Dr. Monica Hurdal of Florida State University does her research. Dr. Talea Mayo models hurricane storm surges in her work as a computational mathematician at the University of Central Florida. Mathematicians can tackle social problems like gerrymandering as Dr. Moon Duchin of Tufts University does with her research on geometric group theory. Importantly, the work of mathematicians often involves helping others understand and use mathematics to design tools and solve problems in areas such as engineering, science, music, and art. 


      Statisticians, meanwhile, use specialized software to collect and analyze data. Statisticians identify trends and relationships within the data, draw conclusions and develop solutions to various situations. One of the key parts of their job is ensuring that they’ve collected an accurate sampling of data prior to making their analyses. They do this by carefully choosing sampling methods, developing fair survey questions, and ensuring reasonable response rates before running their analyses. In addition to data analysts, some statisticians help create new software to analyze data more accurately and efficiently. 

      Together, mathematicians and statisticians are associated with many aspects of our lives like computing, government, healthcare, research and development, and their skills are in high demand in many diverse fields. 


      21st Century Skills required for this profession: 

      Critical Thinking 

      • Interpret data to predict future trends. 
      • Determine which data is needed and relevant to a specific scenario. 
      • Analyze multi-faceted scenarios. 


      • Determine goals and priorities. 
      • Work in a team environment. 


      • Write fair and unbiased survey questions. 
      • Clearly report analyses. 
      • Provide oral and written reports. 


      • Think outside of the box to decide which mathematical theories and techniques can be used to solve problems. 
      • Create simulations. 
      • Draw conclusions from data to develop concrete decision-making steps. 


      MyStemKits, an award-winning online STEM curriculum repository, has kits that enrich skills related to measurement, statistics, and data. These include: 


      Number and Operator Coins Kit 

      Subjects: Mathematics 

      Grade levels: K-5, 6-8 

      Strand: Algebraic Thinking 

      A multi-use tool, these coins can be used for hands-on exploration of algebraic principles from simple addition to more complex formulas. Set up challenges or guide the students through mental-math exercises to get them thinking on the fly. 


      Camarhynchus Finch Kit 

      Subjects: Mathematics, Science 

      Grade levels: 6-8, 9-12 

      Strand: Algebraic Thinking; Statistics, Probability, Measurement, and Data; Biological Sciences 

      This kit contains 15 data-based specimens of each of the following two species of finches: Camarhynchus parvulus and Camarhynchus psittacula. Pairs great with the Darwin’s Finches Kit for an in-depth look at natural selection and Darwin’s principle of descent with modification. 

       To watch a video on the two Finch kits, click here - Darwin's Finches Kit & Camarhynchus Finch Kit.

      Moths Kit 

      Subjects: Mathematics, Science 

      Grade levels: 6-8, 9-12 

      Strand: Statistics, Probability, Measurement, and Data; Biological Sciences 

      Use these moths to explore a variety of topics including sampling methodology, the Hardy-Weinburg principle, and the biological effects of the Industrial Revolution. 


      For information on Boxlight teaching and learning solutions, including MyStemKits STEM curriculum, visit www.boxlight.com 

      Topics: STEM, STEM education, MyStemKits


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