Q & A with Harrison Brock

Harrison Brock
Name: Harrison Brock
Major: Statistical Sciences and Operations Research
Future goals: Honestly I haven't really thought that far ahead yet! Maybe I'll do research, or maybe I'll do consulting. I really don't know what I want to do yet, but I'm confident all that I've learned and the connections that I've made here at VCU will help me get there!
I really enjoy the idea of helping people through something I'm good at and passionate about, and personally for me that something is statistics.

Why did you decide to study statistics?

I originally came to VCU as undeclared and eventually found myself as an urban and regional studies major. Through that program I learned how professionals in that field used data and statistical practices to help with their job and consequently help all the individuals living in the city. This aspect of urban planning really interested me and I eventually dropped the major entirely to make the switch to statistics. I really enjoy the idea of helping people through something I'm good at and passionate about, and personally for me that something is statistics.

What was your favorite class that you took in your major? And why?

My favorite class so far has been the statistical consulting class I took just last semester. This class involved "clients" coming to the class virtually and presenting us with a problem with corresponding data that we as statisticians would run analysis on and offer solutions to that problem based on our analysis. While the class did involve statistics and math, there were more skills that were taught beyond your traditional math class. For example, we were taught how to break down complex problems and how to present statistical analysis in layman's terms. These skills are not usually taught in a traditional math setting and will stick with me well after I graduate from VCU.

Who was your favorite professor in your major? And why?

While I've had so many great professors, my favorite professor so far has to be Ms. Madhumita Basu. Ms. Basu is a great professor who taught the statistical consulting class I mentioned earlier. She explained hard to understand concepts in an easy and concise way. She worked extremely hard to bring in clients and to give all of us the opportunity to network and meet professionals from our field. Without Ms. Basu the statistical consulting class would not have been the same, and I would not have learned the valuable skills she passed down that go well beyond statistics and math.

Why should students consider statistical sciences and operations research as a major?

While it is hard work, it really offers you a lot of great experiences and valuable skills. You get the chance to make connections with really great professors as well as your classmates who all share your passion for math. In the end, I'm extremely happy and confident with my decision to be a statistics major and I wouldn't have it any other way!