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Collaborative Research with NIST Scientists and Engineers


For more than 50 years, Statistical Engineering Division (SED) staff have played a critical role in the success of a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary collaborative research projects at NIST. SED staff research contributions include:

  • quantification of uncertainty in measurements,  
  • statistical design of experimental investigations,  
  • monte carlo modeling,  
  • parameter estimation,  
  • probabilistic and stochastic modeling,  
  • exploratory data analysis and empirical modeling,  
  • model validation,  
  • computer intensive statistical methods,  
  • reliability analysis,  
  • statistical signal processing,  
  • image analysis,  
  • time series analysis,  
  • hypothesis testing, and  
  • quality control.


As members of interdisciplinary teams, SED statisticians contribute in a variety of ways. SED staff develop appropriate statistical strategies to meet the needs of the research teams, participate in the planning of experimental studies, and conduct rigorous and nontrivial uncertainty analysis of results. SED statisticians also participate actively in the preparation of written records via NIST or archival journal publications.

In some cases, the statistician judiciously selects and implements the most appropriate existing statistical method to analyze experimental data. In many cases, new statistical methods are developed to address unique scientific challenges encountered by the NIST research team. Some SED staff develop theoretical models to augment experimental work done by NIST collaborators. Examples of such work include monte carlo simulation of physical processes and stochastic differential equation modeling. Typically, SED staff develop long term relationships with collaborators in the other NIST Laboratories and develop intimate knowledge of the scientific field in which they work.

Major Accomplishments

Since SED staff have collaborate with staff from all NIST Laboratories, many industries benefits from SED work including:

  1. Building and Construction Industries  
  2. Steel Industry  
  3. Optoelectronics Industries  
  4. Computer Hardware and Software Industries  
  5. Biotechnology Industries  
  6. Polymer Industries  
  7. Semiconductor Industries  
  8. Wireless Communications Industry  
  9. Cable TV Industries

Many current collaborative activities are discussed in the SED annual reports (yellow books).

Some specific collaborative projects are written up in more detail:

  • Magnetic Trapping of Ultra Cold Neutrons and Determination of the Mean Lifetime of the Neutron
  • Statistical Characterization of High-Speed Oscilloscopes and Photodiodes
  • Certification of Standard Reference Materials
  • Strategies for Testing Embedded Software
Created September 17, 2010, Updated June 2, 2021