Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Statistics: A World of Uncertainty

A Los Alamos statistician explains how the use of statistics is central to strong national security research.
October 1, 2017
Standard color maps

Standard color maps (top row) sometimes don’t resolve areas of interest well. New color maps (bottom row) can improve the perceptual range of color, providing scientists with more useful data images. Statistical experiment design enables the improvement to be quantified by establishing a mathematical means of comparison. CREDIT: Francesca Samsel

“I live and breathe statistics on a daily basis. Both at work and outside of work, I think about everything in terms of distributions.” - Joanne Wendelberger, Los Alamos statistician

“Statisticians can engage in interdisciplinary problem-solving, being part of a team of experts from different fields working on important issues, rather than working in isolation or simply acting as an outside consultant. Although I specialized in statistics, I have been able to work on problems in many different scientific disciplines. At Los Alamos, I’ve worked on problems like analysis of ocean-simulation results, to contribute to our understanding of the earth’s climate, and sampling and visualization of particles from simulations of the origins of the universe. These are big questions that can’t be tackled without the unique confluence of math and science capabilities that national laboratories like Los Alamos have come to be known for. I have been very fortunate to be a part of that confluence.”