A person who does statistics is a statistician. What is a person called who does stochastics (or stochastic modelling)? Searching for "stochastician" yields almost no results (< 1000) compared to 19 million results when searching for "statistician".

  • The number of results for "stochastician” is far fewer than <1,000: Page 6 of about 102 results
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 18, 2021 at 13:12
  • Google Books show even fewer hits
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 18, 2021 at 13:14
  • Just 18 hits on Google Scholar, but it confirms that the term exists.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 18, 2021 at 13:16
  • 1
    If someone's primary job were stochastic modelling, I might call them a "stochastic modeller".
    – psmears
    May 18, 2021 at 13:39
  • 122 000 Google hits for 'fudgel', but it's deemed obsolete. // Almost 5000 for 'frasmotic', but usually Blackadder-related. Using 'word' for any candidate that's appeared, but has a very small sphere of usage / understanding / acceptance as being in the lexicon, is unhelpful. May 18, 2021 at 15:47

1 Answer 1

  • If there were a profession or identity for someone who does a thing called 'stochastics' all day long, then yes you would call them a 'stochastician'. The term is a regular felicitous composition, similar to mathematician from mathematics and statistician from statistics.
  • There are many people who do statistics as a full-time profession, and very few (if any at all) whose primary task in life is to perform stochastic things (like stochastic modeling. Stochastics is mostly a side tool for many technical professions but not a full-time goal. This accounts for the rare use of the term 'stochastician'.

...which is all to say that if you were forced to make a single word for the activity out of the performance of stochastic procedure, then 'stochastician' is the proper term. It's just that nobody does that.

It is most likely that it would sound better, instead of trying to force 'stochastician', to use the primary profession as a noun and then describe the person as using stochastics.

TL;DR Yes, 'stochastician' is a viable word but you shouldn't use it. Instead say

To study the effects of colliding galaxies, we're hired a newly graduated cosmologist to run all the simulations.

  • Thanks, but I doubt that there are almost no professionals who do more stochastics than statistics. But there are surely more that do more statistics than stochastics. May 18, 2021 at 12:59
  • 1
    @Hans-PeterStricker That was tortured multiple levels of counter-non-negations but I think that's what I was saying? Millions might 'do' statistics (use statistical tools like regression). There are far fewer but still substantial that whose professional title is 'statistician' (profs, consultants, etc) ie that's all they do all day long. In contrast, there is (in the English language community), no profession that is primarily about stochastics (randomized simulations) as the end goal, and therefore little market value in having an essentialist label of 'stochastician'.
    – Mitch
    May 18, 2021 at 15:24
  • But why should this be so? Almost no professionals that are primarily concerned with randomized simulations as the end goal? What are they doing the rest of their time? OK, you might say, they are mainly physicists or epidemiologists, and the rest of their time they do physics and epidemiology. But which statisticians are not also (mainly) professionals in other fields than statistics? May 18, 2021 at 15:29
  • I can see its use maybe in science fiction. "In the donut shop bathroom of the wormhole transition depot, recently third-time-resurrected psycho-historical stochastician, Haldor Thuwfat, found the body in the third toilet stall on the left."
    – Mitch
    May 18, 2021 at 15:38
  • @Hans-PeterStricker re "Why should this be so?" 1) I'm not answering why, I'm just describing the situation to you, it's how people in English (in technical circles) would consider these terms. 2) I can see it being used in other languages but they'll have different ideas about what 'stochastic really means and its implications. 3) what words do they use for all these things in your native language.
    – Mitch
    May 18, 2021 at 15:41

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