Faculty Corner – Whitney Worley

1.  Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am originally from Arkansas. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Arkansas Tech University and my Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education from UCA. I then moved to Waco, TX to pursue my Ph. D. in Statistics at Baylor University. During that time, I met my wonderful husband and we moved back to Conway together in 2018. I enjoy cycling and playing racquetball with my husband, spending time with my family, participating in activities with our church, and watching movies.

2.  Tell us about the courses that you would like to teach at UCA.

Statistics is my passion, and I love sharing that knowledge with our students. I enjoy teaching Statistical Methods, where students are taught probability and statistical inference using the R programming language. I am also looking forward to teaching Multivariate Analysis next fall as this relates to my research interests.

3.  Tell us a little about your research.

I have conducted research in the field of Multivariate Analysis. Specifically, I have worked with data of high-dimension, in which the number of variables exceeds the sample size. A problem of interest is detecting differences in mean vectors from two high-dimensional samples, indicating that a difference exists between the two populations from which the samples were taken.

4.  Can you give us an example of an application of this research?

High-dimensional analysis is commonly used in genetics research. When working with microarray data, we tend to have more gene expressions than patients. High-dimensional analysis can be used to detect differences in gene expressions of patients from differing populations. For example, breast cancer patients who have been in remission for at least 5 years tend to display different gene expressions as compared to patients whose remission lasted less than 5 years.

5.  What is your favorite part of your transition to UCA?

As a former UCA student, transitioning to UCA felt like a homecoming. I immediately felt the support of my fellow faculty members, both inside and outside of the mathematics department. UCA feels like a family and it was wonderful to have been met with such open arms.

6.  What is the most challenging part of  your transition to UCA?

As a young faculty member working in my first full-time position, I have to be conscious that I am no longer a graduate student. My opinions and views are valued by my colleagues, and I have to be willing to share them.