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Activity Number: 402
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Teaching of Statistics in the Health Sciences
Abstract #318347
Title: The Professional Melting Pot: Statisticians, Data Scientists, and Health Researchers Talk Shop to Improve Public Well-Being
Author(s): Nicholas Beyler* and Fei Xing
Companies: Mathematica Policy Research and Mathematica Policy Research
Keywords: working group ; private sector ; data science ; statistics

Statisticians in the private sector do not often have the same opportunities as government or academic statisticians to discuss statistical topics in an informal setting like a journal club or working group. In 2011, four statisticians at Mathematica Policy Research formed a working group to discuss statistical methods from their personal research, project work, and journal articles they found interesting and relevant to their work. Today the experimental working group has developed into the Data Scientific and Statistical Methods Working Group (DSSMWG) composed of over thirty statisticians, data scientists, health researchers, and survey researchers. DSSMWG meets once a month to discuss statistical methods and data science tools that help guide project work and improve public well-being, which is the core mission of Mathematica. In this paper we discuss DSSMWG's structure (past, present, and future) and give some examples of "success stories" the group has had. We also provide advice to colleagues interested in starting a working group or journal club at their own company or institution and highlight challenges they may face along the way and how to deal with them.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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