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Karle Flanagan ('12, '13) - Senior Instructor, Department of Statistics at University of Illinois

My name is Karle Flanagan and I am a Senior Instructor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I have taught introductory statistics to over 20,000 students at UIUC since Spring of 2014.  I am currently still teaching introductory statistics, as well as working on course development for other advanced statistics courses and data science courses using Python. In my spare time, I am also working on my Ph.D. in Statistics Education.

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and I have always loved math!  When I came to UIUC in 2008, I majored in math and planned on minoring in secondary education with the goal of becoming a high school math teacher.  During my time as a math major, I realized how much I loved all of the statistics courses that I had taken, and I wanted to study statistics even more. After graduating in 2012, I joined the Statistics Department as a Master’s Student. During this time, I worked at State Farm as a MAGNet intern. This was the best experience of my graduate school career. I worked on a project that involved building a logistic regression model to detect fraudulent claims. It was such an interesting project- my boss and I always said it was like I was catching bad guys!  The MAGNet experience allowed me to apply everything I was learning in my courses to a real-life job in at a company. I learned so much about statistics and model building during this time, but I also learned other important skills such as how to work on a team, how to give a formal presentation to management, and how to explain complicated statistical concepts to non-statistical people. 

I graduated from the MS program in Fall 2013 and I still use those skills I learned through MAGNet to this day working as an educator!  Since then, I have been able to work on many projects and serve on many committees here at the University.  For example, I helped develop Illinois’ first introductory data science general education course with no prerequisites called Data Science Discovery.  This course combines statistics, Python programming, and business intelligence.  My experience programming in the MAGNet internship helped make this possible.  I have worked as an advisor in the Statistics Department and I have gotten to present at conferences, the UIUC faculty retreat, student RSOs, and many other events throughout the years.  Again, being a MAGNet intern helped me develop the confidence and skills to present and speak in front of large diverse audiences.  As an alumnus of the Statistics Department and the MS program, I love being able to give back as a faculty member and help mentor students who are also interested in statistics. 

For more info, see my personal website:


Bachelor’s Degree: Mathematics (UIUC)- Spring 2012
Master’s Degree: Statistics (UIUC)- Fall 2013
MAGNet Dates: August 2012- December 2013
PhD: Statistics Education (UIUC)- Expected 2023