The Department of Statistics in Seoul National University started from the department of applied mathematics and established in December, 1963. Afterwards, the demand for statisticians and computer scientists increased due to the development of the information industry in Korea in the 1970s. Due to such growth , the campus was relocated to Gwanak in accordance with the integration plan of Seoul National University in 1975 and the department of applied mathematics was closed. Afterwards, a group of five professors; Jihoon Choi, Hongrae Park, Hanyoung Chung, Jaeju Kim, and Youngtaek Kim established the Department of Statistics of Computation at the College of Natural Science. Professor Youngtaek Kim was transferred to the Department of Computer Science at the College of Engineering which was newly established in 1978, and Professors Munsub Song and Woochul Kim were appointed in 1979.
In the 1980s, Professors Jihoon Choi and Hanyoung Chung were transferred to Kangnung National University and Hallym University, respectively, and Professors Jongwoo Jun, Sinsub Cho, and Byungwook Park were newly appointed to the department. In 1989, the Statistics Research Institute was established in order to solve practical statistical issues and social volunteering. While encouraging research among professors by exploring various modern life issues and preparing the school for the education and training of graduate students, the Department of Statistics is currently deploying statistical theories developed at the school for the benefit of society.
In the 1990s, both statistics and computer sciences were rapidly developing independently and so the undergraduate majors were divided in 1991. In 1996, the Department of Statistics of Computation was divided into the Department of Computing Science and the Department of Statistics. Afterwards, the Department of Computing Science was integrated into the Department of Computer Engineering at the College of Engineering in 2000. Hereupon, the Department of Computer Engineering and Science was established at the College of Engineering in 2000. For the first time in 1995, Professor Hongrae Park retired while still under the retirement age limit after the department was established. Around this time period, Professor Youngjo Lee, Sangyeol Lee, and Taesung Park were newly appointed.
In 2000, the Complex System Statistics Department was established in sponsorship from the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation. Professors Jaeju Kim, Munsub Song, Sunghyun Park, Jongwoo Chun, and Woochul Kim were retired under the age limit, and Professors Jaeyong Lee, Yongdae Kim, Heesuk Oh, Yohan Lim, Wonchul Chang, Myunghee Cho Pail, and Jungho Won were newly appointed.
In spite of its short history, the Department of Statistics at Seoul National University has grown rapidly. The first doctoral degree in the program was granted to Minwoong Shin (honorary professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies). Afterwards, a total of 538 masters graduates and 163 doctoral degree holders have graduated as of 2014. There are about 200 undergraduates majoring in statistics including double majors, and a total of 70 graduate students (40 students in the master’s program and 30 students in the doctoral program) researching in a well-balanced curriculum of theory and applied statistics.
The Department of Statistics at Seoul National University has been ranked at the top in department evaluations for three years in a row by Joongang Ilbo. As for QS World University Ranking, the Department of Statistics was ranked 34th in 2011 when evaluating only the field of statistics. Evaluating the areas of statistics and operation research, Seoul National University was ranked 46th in 2014.