Barry Nussbaum, president of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and former chief statistician at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spoke at The University of Texas at San Antonio April 3. His lecture, “What Did You Tell the President: Using Statistics to Make a Difference,” was well attended by students, faculty and community members.
Using analyses from court cases as well as material presented to the President of the United States, Nussbaum showed how statistics can impact and influence decisions and actions in a variety of fields. He also discussed how to succinctly explain statistical results so that decision makers can correctly integrate analyses into their actions.
Nussbaum started his career at the EPA in 1975. At the agency, he founded and chaired the EPA Statistics Users Group. As their chief statistician he achieved many successes using statistical analysis to promote health, determine environmental policy and enforce regulations.
In particular, he was in charge of the successful drive to eliminate harmful lead from gasoline. In recognition of his notable accomplishments and contributions to statistics, he was awarded the EPA Distinguished Career Service Award and elected an ASA fellow.
In 2015, Nussbaum was elected the 112th president of the American Statistical Association, the largest society of statisticians and data scientists. He holds both master’s and doctoral degrees from George Washington University.
As part of his visit, he also met with UTSA faculty, students and member of the San Antonio American Statistical Association chapter for an in-depth discussion about the practice of data science and career success factors. His visit was sponsored by the Department of Management Science and Statistics and the San Antonio American Statistical Association chapter.