NISS Highlight: Meet New Research Associate Zach Terner!

NISS Research Associate, Zach Terner

Zach Terner is a new NISS Research Associate.  Zach just started work with the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) at the USDA where his initial challenge at NASS is to help identify and correct errors in responses to agricultural surveys that NASS conducts. The challenge is being able to do this at a large and automated scale because of the many responses to these surveys.

Zach began college as a systems and information engineering major and received his Bachelor of Science degree in systems and information Engineering from The University of Virginia. However, because he enjoyed the courses which covered statistical concepts and methods, he added statistics courses to his schedule until it became a secondary major and eventually a Bachelor of Arts degree in Statistics.  This trend stuck!  Zach continued taking statistics and data science classes through graduate school.  He received his Master of Science degree in Statistics from the University of Virginia as well, then moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara where he earned his Ph.D. in Applied Statistics.

Why Statistics? Why Data?  

“I enjoy helping people and working on projects that can help people. With statistics, one can always find new problems or people to help, especially nowadays when data are so prevalent.  If one field gets boring, there are numerous application areas (medicine, biology, chemistry, environmental science) where understanding data and statistics are key to arriving at correct scientific conclusions. The ability to help, and to always have opportunities to learn about new fields, excited me.”

We look forward to working with and learning more about Zach and are excited about the energy and contributions that he will bring to the research challenges put into his path!

Monday, August 10, 2020 by Glenn Johnson