Using the U.S. Decennial Census

Now One Year Old, Statistics Program Perfects the Formula

March 20, 2015

By Madeline Ruoff ’18


Statistics professors Amy Wagaman, Nicholas Horton and Xiaofei Wang

In the year since the Amherst faculty approved statistics as a new official major—making it the 38th major in the College’s nearly 200-year history—the renamed Department of Mathematics and Statistics has been busy. This May, Amherst’s first five statistics majors will graduate, and faculty members continue to add courses and hone their offerings.

Using R and RStudio at Amherst

R is a powerful open source environment for statistics.  RStudio is an integrated development environment that facilitates the use of R by students and instructors. A server is available for members of the Amherst community at  The following resources are intended to help those getting started with these systems.

Five College Guide to R and RStudio

Amherst launches Sports Analytics initiative, seeking to leverage success of its “Moneyball” alumni

Submitted on Monday, 4/14/2014, at 3:47 PM

Not Like the Old Days

This fall, the college’s new chief information officer, Gayle Barton, put together an “IT Index” that begins to illustrate just how much has changed since Bennison’s days in the Computer Center. Here are some items from the index.

Percentage of applicants to the Class of 2016 who applied online: 99

Number of applicants without an email address: 1 (out of 8,461)

Percentage of the Class of 2016 who are members of their class Facebook page: 79, down from 99 percent four years ago

An Introduction to ProjectTemplate

John Myles White, a Ph.D student in the Princeton psychology department, wrote an indispensable package for R, ProjectTemplate, which I use for managing both trivial and complex R projects. 

The Record-Breaking Class of 2014

Applications received: 8,088*

Applications accepted: 1,240, or 15.3%

Members of the class: 490*

Self-identified students of color: 42%*

First-generation college students: 18%

Non-U.S. citizens: 9%

Languages spoken: 23

Receiving Amherst financial aid: 59%*

Most common names: Alexandra and Daniel

*A record high

Source: Amherst Office of Admission

Winter by the Numbers

The Class of 2013 by the Numbers

  • Applications received: 7,679
  • Applications accepted: 16 percent
  • Members of the class: 467
  • Countries represented: 24
  • States represented: 39 plus Washington, D.C.

Finding Data and Statistics

United States

Historical Statistics of the United States, Millennial Edition Online 

American FactFinder
Population, housing, economic, and geographic information from the U.S. Census