Home » A Statistician's Life, Celebrating Black History Month

Brittany Dane Green

1 February 2022 779 views No Comment

Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Information Systems, Analytics, and Operations, University of Louisville
Education: BS, Mathematics, Birmingham-Southern College,
MS, Industrial Systems Engineering, Auburn
PhD, Operations, Business Analytics, and Information Systems, University of Cincinnati

I grew up in a rural town in Alabama. When I look back on my childhood there, I see the complexity of such an upbringing. The community always came together and supported each other, especially surrounding our local sports teams, but it was also marked by events such as making the national news when the high school was burned down after the principal opposed interracial dating.

In terms of statistics, while my high school did not have a specific class, I look back fondly on a phenomenal math teacher who piqued my interest in math. After high school, I left the town in pursuit of my bachelor’s degree in math. Since then, I have spent my career in various math-related fields, with the exception of one year spent working for AmeriCorps as I shifted my focus to social justice—something I have always wanted to pursue.

After my year serving, I wrestled with how to combine my interest in math with my passion for social justice—that is, until I discovered data science and statistics. I saw an opportunity to combine these interests in my career after observing media and academia tout the benefits of machine learning models without regard for how they can negatively affect certain populations. As I saw the increased reliance on these models in business and other fields, I found myself drawn to exploring how they can be used to both positively affect society and to better understand when they can go wrong. This spurred my pursuit of a doctoral degree in business analytics.

It is tempting to claim a publication or my PhD graduation as my proudest moment as I look back on my journey. Instead, I am most proud of my continued commitment to incremental improvements. While it may not be noticeable on a day-to-day basis, there are times when teaching a new course or writing a paper that I witness the improvements I have made through consistent work and study over an extended period. Through this continued practice, I hope to contribute to the field of digital technologies and social justice throughout my career.

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