Students are frustrated over filled statistic classes

Students+in+a+statistics+class+learn+in+a+lecture+at+the+Lincoln+Hall+Theater+on+Tuesday+afternoon.+Multiple+advanced+level+statistics+classes+have+been+filled.

Brigida Dockus

Students in a statistics class learn in a lecture at the Lincoln Hall Theater on Tuesday afternoon. Multiple advanced level statistics classes have been filled.

By Laszlo Richard Toth, Staff Writer

Many advanced level statistics classes have been filled, proving inconvenient for students unable to register for the courses they wish to take.

These concerns have come to head on internet sites such as Reddit, where students have vented their frustrations.

However, despite these concerns, virtually every statistics major has registered or should be able to register for classes, according to Jeffrey Douglas, professor in LAS and associate chair of the Department of Statistics.

These issues are due in large part to an expansion of interest in the department. According to Douglas, there has been heightened growth within the major over the last decade as more students have become interested in the field.

This expansion is understandable, as the University’s entire student body has been increasing. This year’s total enrollment exceeded 50,000, and the new freshman class from fall 2019 is currently also the most populous yet, according to the report on the entering class of 2019.

Due to this interest, the department increased from around 100 major students 10 years ago to around 900 now, so there is a push in recent years to be more accommodating for students.

This year, in order to compensate for the growth, the department opened up more seats in 400-level classes and created a new course in multivariate analysis for STAT 430: Topics in Applied Statistics and elected to offer STAT 431: Applied Bayesian Analysis again, which was initially decided to not be offered this spring semester. 

Jennifer Anderson Bliss, undergraduate academic adviser in the Department of Statistics, stated other factors that may have contributed to the high enrollment this semester, including students with early scheduling tickets purposefully scheduling an excess of classes with the intent of dropping whichever ones they do not prefer later on. In addition, some students scheduled an excess of courses to save a seat for their friends, which violates the Student Code.

Considering these factors, as well as the fact that there are generally seats reserved for graduate students that go unused and eventually are opened up for undergraduates, Anderson Bliss encouraged students that may have had issues registering for statistics classes to simply stay patient.

“With patience and persistence, most students are able to register for what they want; they’re just not able to do it right away, which makes some people really anxious, understandably so,” Anderson Bliss said.

While it appears that virtually all issues which may have prevented statistics majors from registering for classes have been resolved, it may be difficult for non-majors who still wish to take advanced statistics classes to register for them. 

“It looks like, right now, we’re able to get at least stat majors the classes they need,” Douglas said. “There probably won’t be many opportunities for non-majors to take the courses, and there’s always a big demand from non-majors, but … our highest priority is getting our stat students in these courses, and we’ve been able to do that.”

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