Meet the Director
Dr. Nairanjana “Jan” Dasgupta
Director and Professor of Statistics
My vision for the WSU data analytics program is to enable students to develop critical analysis and communications skills so they can serve as conduits between the non-tech world that generates the data and the tech world that analyzes the data. (Learn more: “Data analytics expert to lead degree program.”)
We have expert faculty teaching our classes and intend to make the data analytics program accessible to different types of learners and to people of different interests. I hope we can convey a feeling of home for our students – so they feel connected to the curriculum and have opportunities to get to know the faculty.
My long-time interest in data and its applications led me to co-chair the WSU working group that first conceptualized the idea of a bachelor of science degree in data analytics. I earned my bachelor’s degree in statistics from Presidency College, Kolkata, and then came to the United States and earned my MS and PhD, both in statistics, from the University of South Carolina. I joined the faculty at Washington State University (WSU) in 1996 and I am currently the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Science and Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Since 2016 I have served as director of the WSU Center of Interdisciplinary Statistics Education and Research (CISER), which provides provides services in support of WSU researchers in designing data-collection protocols and statistical analysis of the data resulting from research studies. In 2018, I was elected as a fellow of the American Statistical Association.
Beyond my academic interests, I am the mother of two, a teenager and a tween, so I’m very aware of how tech-savvy the new generations are. I am a voracious reader and love to cook. I love to draw cartoons and write doggerel verse and enjoy trivia and board games.
Each year, the College of Arts and Sciences celebrates seventeen faculty, six staff, and six graduate students for their contributions to the WSU community and their commitment to excellence.
Dr. Dasgupta was awarded the 2021 College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Catalyst Award for her dedication to working with multiple departments for the Data Analytics degree! This is not the first CAS award she has won however- in 2019, Dr. Dasgupta also won the Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring award.
An original poem by Dr. Dasgupta
My name is…
Of Statistics and Computer Science, I am the unplanned child
My presence in academe has made some administrators wild.
To Mathematics my grandparent, credit is more than due
And to the application domain that often determines my hue.
Topics include ML, SVM, HPC and the ubiquitous AI
Many are enamored and fans, but others do really sigh!
I have immense applications, in possibly every field
Policies, predictions, projections, I am often used to yield
Misrepresentation can happen, so, ethics are a must
Try to focus on the unbiased and results fair and just…
And make sure around me, you mind your pi’s and theta
For as you have guessed, YES, I am the Science of Data!
Nairanjana (Jan) Dasgupta