Mintab Express for the Mac - Arriving in August 2014

Key Dates

  • January 27, 2014
    Deadline for special requests for abstract submission/registration for U.S. government agencies
  • July 2 - July 17, 2014
    Late Registration (increased fees apply)

Conference Information > First-Time Attendees

Thanks for choosing to attend the Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston, Massachusetts. We are very pleased that you will be joining us.

New for JSM 2014!  This year we are piloting a Docent Program to assist with any questions that you as a first-time JSM attendee may have. Specific participants have been identified as JSM Docents - identifiable by ribbons that will be on their badges. They are also JSM attendees, but they will be at the first-time orientation and reception and have volunteered to answer any of your questions related to JSM2014 throughout the conference.

What to expect during your first JSM experience:

Interested in a general overview of the JSM program? Click here to download the schedule-at-a-glance. Complete program information can be found in the online program.

We have also put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions. However, if you have questions not listed below, please do not hesitate to ask!

Welcome to JSM2014 — Boston!!

There are many opportunities at and a LOT of information about JSM–much of the trick is learning where to find everything and how to take advantage of it!

  1. What does JSM stand for?
    JSM is the "Joint Statistical Meetings," the largest gathering of statisticians held in North America. The full list of associations that jointly sponsor this meeting can be found at
  2. I'm here! What do I do first?
    Once you are settled into your hotel, stop by the Registration and JSM Help Desk. You can pick up your welcome packet, which includes a hard copy of the program guide, the awards booklet, and a badge holder (or badge if you left yours at home). You also get a nice bag to carry these things around in. First-time attendees and docents can request a ribbon to attach to their badge that specifies these distinctions. If you are a chapter officer, pick up a ribbon for that, too! The JSM badge will enable you to enter the conference center, mixers, and EXPO.
  3. There are many concurrent sessions. How do I plan?
    One way is to use the online program ( There are four ways to search for conference information, each with its own perks: Main Search, Quick Search, People Affiliation Search, or Abstract Keyword Search.

    The main search is helpful if you are interested in sessions by a specific group. For instance, if you search by sponsor and choose the Committee on Career Development, the search will present all sessions or meetings sponsored by that committee. This is helpful if you are interested in talks sponsored by specific sections, committees, or societies.

    A quick search is helpful if you know your session title or number. For instance, if a friend told you they are in Session 433, you can look up that session to find out when and where it will take place.

    A people/affiliation search can be helpful for finding out where your colleagues are presenting, or which of your colleagues might be presenting. HINT: If you are job searching and there is a company or institution you are considering, you can "stalk" the sessions employees of these places may be in to have an idea of the work being done there.

    An abstract/keyword search can help you if there are topics (statistical or applied) you are interested in.

    TIP: If you are logged into your ASA account, you can create and save a program for yourself. This can be downloaded to a CSV file or printed.

    TIP: Battery low? At registration, you will receive a program book with each day designated by a tab. You can write on the back of the tab what sessions you want to go to and where they are. Also, with so many sessions, there is some degree of "session hopping"-so, while your first choice for a talk is at 10:35, you might consider alternative sessions should your first choice turn out to be something different than what you expected.
  4. What is the difference between special presentations, invited sessions or panels, topic-contributed sessions or panels, and contributed sessions?
    Special sessions are introductory overview lectures or late-breaking sessions presented concurrently with other sessions. More than likely, these will be given by renowned statisticians.

    Invited sessions, including plenary sessions and named lectures, are pre-organized sessions with speakers that have been invited, or are expected to give talks based on their position in the organization (e.g., the President's Invited Address). Plenary sessions are given at a time during which they do not compete with other sessions. Awards are given at some of these events, as well (e.g., Sunday and Tuesday nights' invited addresses).

    Topic-contributed sessions are planned about eight months in advance of JSM. These are typically based on a single topic and organized by one or two people.

    If you submitted an abstract to the JSM planning committee, you will most likely be in a contributed session. These are contributed papers that have been grouped together based on a theme.

    TIP: the type of session will not necessarily reflect the quality of the session. In the past, some talks that had high expectations, and fell short due to an apparent lack of preparation. Some Contributed session presentations have been EXCELLENT, as it is obvious that they were rehearsed several times. Go to sessions that you think will be interesting, do not limit yourself to only "renowned" speakers.
  5. What are the EXPO, ASA Store, and Cyber Center?
    Whatever you do, do not miss walking through the EXPO, where many of the JSM sponsors have booths. While you can pick up novelties, there are also many academic, employer (i.e., recruiter), and publisher booths. A full list of exhibiters can be found at

    The ASA Store is usually in the EXPO. ASA merchandise (e.g., shirts, jackets, coffee mugs) can be purchased there. Also, shirts from previous JSMs can be purchased at a discount.

    In the years before portable devices with email and Internet access became ubiquitous, JSM began offering the Cyber Center. There usually is not a long wait to access the Internet or send a quick email at these computer kiosks. If your cell phone battery is low and you need to make a reservation, head there!
  6. Is there help finding local information (restaurants or tourism information)
    There is! At JSM 2014, there will be a tourism information center in the North Lobby of the convention center. Additionally, there is a map with nearby restaurants noted in the welcome bag you receive at registration.
  7. There are many business meetings and mixers. Am I welcome to attend those?
    As long as the program book does not say "closed" or "ticketed event," consider yourself welcome! Even if you are not a current member of a section, you can go to their mixer to find out what they are about.
  8. I did not buy tickets in advance, but several professional development courses and roundtables look interesting. Can I attend those?
    Maybe. The best way to guarantee you can go to these is to register beforehand. However, there may be available tickets to some events onsite. It never hurts to ask!

There has been a lot written about JSM experiences. Here are a few blogs that might be informative:

Note that JSM is what you make of it. Many people use it to network and to gain motivation for their own research. To get the most out of it, be adventurous! Go to sessions on topics you have heard only a little about. Don't be afraid to reach out to speakers or attendees if you have questions. Many lunches are planned after the 10:30 session (i.e., not much planning a priori), so if you are talking to someone, ask if they have plans-you never know what connections you will make and how they will serve you in the long run!

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