1.
*Interdisciplinary research needs the terminology of other
disciplines, not statistical theory*. While some are tempted toward
“applied/interdisciplinary research” as an easy way out, only
statisticians strong in the core of probability theory and mathematical
statistics are capable of offering authentic expertise most needed by
scientists from other fields, leading to mutually beneficial interdisciplinary
research. *An
opportunistic statistician who knows no more statistics than non statisticians
often attempts to impress collaborators by parroting their language, just to
get his/her name on their grant proposals*. Such practice, of course,
hurts one’s own credibility and the department’s reputation.

2.
*As long as someone is strong in theory, he/she can do
excellent statistics research*. Many people who are capable of
manipulating mathematics and enjoying the activity stop just at that. That is,
they create artificial mathematical problems exactly of the kind that they are
able to solve, shying away from the more realistic and much more mathematically
challenging problems of application relevance. *They are like a cat playing every day the same
game of chasing a yarn ball from bed to floor, certain of winning a controlled
game. People weak in mathematics are like a cat too fat to win any game. Good
statisticians are like a cat catching real mice around the house, with the
possibility of failing and the thrill of winning a real game*.

3.
*If someone uses fractional Brownian motion in papers, he/she
is strong in theory*. First, the use of sophisticated mathematics
should be always for the purpose of creatively solving an interesting
statistical problem, not for showing off mathematical prowess. Second, there
are now graduate courses teaching people to “do stochastic
calculus” by formal manipulation of symbols without any knowledge of Lebesgue measure (Email me and I can show you how to enroll
in such a course). *A post office worker loading boxes of laptop computers is no
more high tech than another loading boxes of sweaters*.

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