1.
*Interdisciplinary research needs the terminology
of other disciplines, not statistical theory*. While
some are tempted toward “applied/interdisciplinary research” as an
easy way out, only statisticians strong in the core of probability theory and
mathematical statistics are capable of offering authentic expertise most needed
by scientists from other fields, leading to mutually beneficial
interdisciplinary research. *An opportunistic statistician who knows no more statistics
than non statisticians often attempts to impress collaborators by parroting
their language, just to get his/her name on their grant proposals*.
Such practice, of course, hurts one’s own credibility and the
department’s reputation.

2.
*As long as someone is strong in theory, he/she can
do excellent statistics research*. Many people who
are capable of manipulating mathematics and enjoying the activity stop just at
that. That is, they create artificial mathematical problems exactly of the kind
that they are able to solve, shying away from the more realistic and much more
mathematically challenging problems of application relevance. *They are like a cat
playing every day the same game of chasing a yarn ball from bed to floor,
certain of winning a controlled game. People weak in mathematics are like a cat
too fat to win any game. Good statisticians are like a cat catching real mice
around the house, with the possibility of failing and the thrill of winning a
real game*.

3.
*If someone uses fractional Brownian motion in
papers, he/she is strong in theory*. First, the use
of sophisticated mathematics should be always for the purpose of creatively
solving an interesting statistical problem, not for showing off mathematical
prowess. Second, there are now graduate courses teaching people to “do
stochastic calculus” by formal manipulation of symbols without any
knowledge of Lebesgue measure (Email me and I can show you how to enroll in
such a course). *A
post office worker loading boxes of laptop computers is no more high tech than
another loading boxes of sweaters*.