The InterViews podcast series provides first-person accounts of the lives and work of National Academy of Sciences members. In this series of one-on-one conversations, scientists talk about what inspired them to pursue the careers they chose and describe some of the most fascinating aspects of their research.
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Stephen Fienberg (statistics)
Carnegie Mellon University
Many people associate statistics with percentages and polls. But this branch of mathematics is really about how to gather, analyze and interpret data—and for statistician Stephen Fienberg, it’s been a doorway into many different worlds. For over four decades, Fienberg has lived and breathed the science, using it to explore everything from lizard populations in the Bahamas to how to build a better census. In the process, his work has helped create better methods for conducting surveys and understanding the data they provide. Stephen Fienberg is the Maurice Falk University Professor of Statistics and Social Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999.