U.S. Secretary of Commerce Appoints Colorado State University Statistics Professor to National Committee

Note to Reporters: A photo of Jay Breidt is available with the news release at http://www.news.colostate.edu/.

How big is the U.S. population? What’s the unemployment rate? How do Colorado salaries stack up nationally? The three major federal agencies that churn out those data are turning to a new advisory committee that includes a Colorado State University professor to guide development and analysis of national statistics.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke has appointed Jay Breidt, Colorado State University statistics professor and an authority on time series and survey sampling, to the committee, called the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee.

Breidt will help coordinate efforts of three major agencies: The U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The committee will examine the agencies’ programs and provide advice on statistical methodology, research needed and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation and analysis of federal economic statistics.

The committee is new under the U.S. Department of Commerce. Breidt previously had served on the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee for former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao from 2006-2009.

The Department of Statistics at Colorado State University is the only one of its kind in the Intermountain West. It has 12 faculty members and has graduated an average of three undergraduate majors (statistics concentration within the mathematics major), eight master’s students and four doctoral students per year over the past 10 years.

“There’s definitely a big need for statisticians in government,” said Breidt, who is looking forward to sharing his committee experience with students. “The number of people trained in statistics who go into government is small. The number who go into survey sampling is tiny.”

Breidt has taught at Colorado State since January 2001. Most recently, he served as chair of the Department of Statistics from 2005-2010.

Breidt is an American Statistical Association Fellow and has received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the association’s Section on Statistics and the Environment. He obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees from Colorado State.