WU students take on KC for statistics conference

Fun weekend full of math: Washburn University students attend the Midwest Math and Stats Conference. They plan to make the conference an annual event. 

Alyssa Storm, Journalist

This past weekend, Washburn University students went to Kansas City, Kansas, for the Midwest Math and Stats conference where they helped it come to life. 

This is a weekend long conference for college students across the Midwest to come together and learn from professionals in this field with their peers to understand the environment after college. At this conference, they will have a career fair, multiple speakers, local BBQ, social time and then a raffle. 

“Northwest Missouri State University and Washburn University have combined efforts to create the first math and stats conference for students. Undergraduates, graduates, and high school students are invited to this inaugural event where students will learn mathematics, statistics, and actuarial, data and computer science. Their desire is to offer a forum where math and stat students, among others, can network with professionals in their chosen fields. They will also have a fun, rewarding experience, the thing that fueled their efforts to bring this conference to fruition,” according to their website https://www.nwmissouri.edu/kc/events/MidwestMath.htm

Claire Mosier, a junior majoring in psychology and statistics, and Jacob Talkin, a senior majoring in actuarial science and minoring in computer science, wanted to put on a conference with the help of other universities that was geared toward the younger generation.

“We wanted to start this conference because there aren’t any student focused on mathematics or statistics conferences,” said Mosier. “All of them that we’ve ever attended, have been for experts in their field.”

There were students from Northwest Missouri State, KU Med, UMKC, Pitt State and Washburn University. Roughly 45 students attended this conference, 15 from Washburn University. 

The speakers are gearing the lectures more toward life after college to make it relatable to the students. There will be a career fair where students can share their resumes and make connections. The speakers are professionals who have lived what they are going to be telling the students. The speakers are Ronald L. Wasserstein, Denise Case, Majid Bani-Yaghoub, Terry M. Long, Doug Wolff, and Jinxiang Hu. 

This conference is unique because it brings college students together and it gives them the opportunity to learn in a setting where they will get information that will always be beneficial to them.

“I want students to be able to take away a handful of new connections,” said Talkin. “Also to simply learn from industry professionals.” 

Having women speakers helps break the barrier of the stereotype of this field being focused on men.

“I wanted to see a lot of women coming just because women in STEM are not very represented most of the time,” said Mosier.

The American Statistical Association, Lewis and Ellis Inc, and Security Benefit are helping sponsor the event. 

Mosier and Talkin are very grateful for the support that Washburn University has given them. They appreciate the small and tight-knit community that Washburn has provided. The math department, and other departments on campus, such as the psychology department, are helping support this conference. 

Mosier and Talkin are hoping to continue this conference next year and the years beyond, possibly bringing it to the Washburn University campus. 

Edited by Adam White, Diana Martinez-Ponce, Jason Morrison