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annebullard

Staff

Joined:

Jul 21, 2014

Amstat News Shines Spotlight on JMP Statistician

Christopher Gotwalt, the developer behind many innovative JMP software tools for data visualization and analysis, is featured in the Jan. 1 Member Spotlight column of Amstat News, the magazine of the American Statistical Association.

Chris, the Statistical Applications Manager at JMP, contends that there’s no such thing as a pure statistician because statistics is meaningful only when applied to another discipline – manufacturing, medicine or any of dozens of other fields.

An early affinity for math and science led the Florida native to consider electrical engineering or academics as prospective careers, but one reason he chose statistics as his life’s work was “because it is an inherently interdisciplinary mathematical discipline that offers many opportunities in industry.”

In the Amstat News column, Chris describes the “serendipitous sequence of events” that led him into statistical computing – including a four-day whirlwind “in which I graduated from college on Saturday, got married on Sunday and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday [and] began graduate studies in statistics at North Carolina State University on Tuesday.”

While in grad school at NCSU, he heard from a friend about SAS and applied for an internship at its corporate headquarters, a 15-minute drive from the NCSU campus. A career in statistical computing was born, and his internship led to full-time employment with the JMP division of SAS after Chris earned his PhD in 2003.

Anyone who uses JMP software to analyze mixed models or reliability data, to optimize experimental designs or to perform data mining using neural networks can thank Chris, who led development of those procedures and many others.

Read the complete column. And if Chris’ story inspires you to share with our readers how you chose your own career path, we’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.

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