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Schraut Memorial Lecture

The 22nd Annual Kenneth C. Schraut Memorial Lecture:  Breaking All The Rules You Learned in Statistics Class

Dr. Chris Cabanski, Senior Director for Biometrics and Clinical Science, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

Nov. 5, 2022

Abstract:  When in school, you should focus on learning all the nuances and technical details that are taught by your instructor and statistics textbook. Even after you graduate, continue to learn, and stay up to date on the latest methods and applications. However, when working as a statistician in industry, you quickly realize that you are part of a cross-functional team and that the “correct” solution you were taught in school is not always the “right” solution for your team or company. The most successful statisticians learn how to elegantly balance statistical rigor with business constraints such as limited budgets or tight timelines. Sometimes this means sacrificing the perfect solution for something that is good enough and relying on gut instinct to fill any gaps.

In this talk, I will provide examples from my career in the pharmaceutical industry of sacrificing statistical rigor to meet larger business needs. I will also provide advice on how to start developing the skills required to know if statistical rigor and accuracy can be loosened or if it is a non-negotiable aspect of the project.


The 22nd Annual Schraut Memorial Lecture Is being held in conjunction with the Alumni Career Seminar. More about the Alumni Career Seminar >


Department of Mathematics

Science Center
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2316