Sara Stoudt

Sara Stoudt

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Ecological Statistics
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About Sara Stoudt

Personal website

Educational Background

  • University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. Statistics
  • Smith College, B.A. in Mathematics and Statistics

Research interests

As an applied statistician, I think of myself as someone who serves as a bridge between statistical methods and scientific meaning. I currently do this in three different application areas: ecology, metrology, and pedagogy. In ecology, I help ecologists understand what kind of data is useful for estimating quantities of interest and how far we can (or cannot) push the data collected opportunistically by community members rather than scientists. In metrology, I help scientists quantify uncertainty in their measurements and communicate that uncertainty to stakeholders. In pedagogy I help teachers prepare their students to write about their findings in a way that is accessible yet faithful to the data. I also embrace that bridge role from a people and service perspective, acting as a translator between fields and a communicator of findings to broader audiences including through non-traditional outputs like blogs.

Teaching Interests

As a teacher I bring an emphasis on the importance of communication and aim to create authentic experiences within real-world contexts when presenting material. This means keeping an eye out for interesting datasets to work into class examples and exam questions and modeling the type of communication that is precise yet accessible. As students learn that there is not one right answer (I say “it depends” *a lot*), they also learn that some answers are more convincing than others. Each class is then more about learning how to strengthen a data-driven argument than learning data recipes. If I can help my students become a little more comfortable with ambiguity and a little more aware of the impact that their statistical choices can have, through examples where they care about the answer, I consider the class a success.

Selected Publications

Stoudt, S., Goldstein, B. R., and de Valpine, P. “Identifying Engaging Bird Species and Traits with Community Science Observations" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Volume 119, Number 16, April, 2022.

Nolan, D. and Stoudt, S. “Communicating with Data: The Art of Writing for Data Science" Oxford University Press, May 2021.

Stoudt, S. “Collaborative Writing Workflows in the Data-Driven Classroom: A Conversation Starter” Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education, June, 2022.

Further Information

Contact Details


469 Olin Science Building