First-Time Attendees

Thank you for choosing to attend the Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, BC. We are so pleased you will be joining us!

What Can I Expect During My First JSM Experience?

  • You will have access to new and innovative sessions, social events, and career opportunities.
  • You will receive information about the latest statistical software in the EXPO, where you can also win prizes.
  • You will have the opportunity to meet colleagues in your field and learn about other fields.
  • Most of all, you will have the chance to have fun while building relationships and networking with other statisticians from around the world.

Interested in a general overview of the JSM program? Click here to download the JSM 2018 schedule-at-a-glance.

Complete program information can be found in the online program.

  • What does JSM stand for?

    JSM is the "Joint Statistical Meetings," the largest gathering of statisticians held in North America. View the full list of associations that jointly sponsor this meeting.

  • I'm here! What do I do first?

    Once you are settled into your hotel, stop by Registration and JSM Help Desk in the convention center. 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 or section officer, pick up a ribbon for that, too! The JSM badge will enable you to enter the conference center, mixers, and EXPO.

  • 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 who 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 papers that have been grouped together based on a theme.

    TIP: The type of session will not necessarily reflect its quality. In the past, promising talks have fallen short due to an apparent lack of preparation, while some contributed session presentations were excellent, as it was obvious they were rehearsed. Go to sessions you think will be interesting; do not limit yourself to only "renowned" speakers.

  • What are roundtable discussions?

    These are small group talks that occur in conjunction with breakfast and lunch, giving you the opportunity to network while discussing a topic of interest. Roundtables are ticketed events in which space is limited, so it is best to register for them prior to JSM.

  • What is the Professional Development (PD) Program?

    PD is the process of improving and broadening the knowledge, skill, and personal qualities needed to be successful in the practice of statistics. To meet your professional development needs, the ASA offers Continuing Education and Personal Skills Development courses and workshops at JSM. These offerings are ticketed events in which space is limited, so it is best to register for them prior to JSM.

  • 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. The EXPO is also where you will find Spotlight Vancouver, allowing you to experience a little bit of the city, grab a coffee, or even have your picture taken with fun props.

    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 there 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!

  • What is the Career Service?

    This is a full-service recruiting facility, usually near the EXPO, in which employers look for and meet with job seekers. There is an additional fee to register for the Career Service.

  • How can I begin networking?

    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 a.m. 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!

  • Who are these docents, and what can they do for me?

    Docents are JSM attendees identified with a special ribbon on their badge who will be at the First-Time Attendee Orientation and Reception and also answer your questions related to JSM throughout the conference.

JSM Lexicon


  • Late-Breaking – Must cover one or more technical, scientific, or policy-related topics that have arisen in the year prior to JSM
  • IOL (Introductory Overview Lecture) – Lectures that provide relatively brief, high-quality introductions to important and timely statistical topics selected because of their potential to enrich the future directions of statistical theory and practice through broader dissemination.
  • ICW (In Conjunction With) – Any event (e.g., meeting, reception, mixer) for a non-ASA group.
  • Contributed – Made up of individually submitted abstracts placed into sessions by the JSM program committee. Each speaker receives 15 minutes.
  • Invited – Approved for the program through a highly competitive system and organized in advance by the program committee. Sessions may consist of anywhere from two to six speakers, and the speaking time per person can vary.
  • Topic-Contributed – Approved for the program through a less rigorous system and organized in advance by the program committee. Each speaker receives 20 minutes.
  • Poster – Provides the ability to display extensive graphical or tabular materials. Poster presenters are provided with an 8' (width) by 4' (height) display board and push pins.
  • Speed – Consists of 20 oral presentations of approximately four minutes, with a five-minute break after the first set of 10 talks. These presentations are followed by an e-poster session lasting 45 minutes later in the program.
  • Paper vs. Panel – A paper session consists of a series of speakers after which there is floor discussion. A panel session is a more fluid conversation in which three to five panelists provide commentary on a particular topic.
  • Student Paper Award – Usually organized as topic-contributed sessions. Most sections offering student paper awards schedule them in one session, though some schedule them in various sessions based on topic. Deadlines are typically early- to mid-December.

What Others Are Saying

Key Dates

  • May 1, 2018 11:00 AM
    Registration and housing open
  • May 31, 2018
    Early registration deadline
  • June 1, 2018 12:01 AM - June 29, 2018 11:59 PM
    Regular registration (increased fees apply)
  • June 21, 2018
    Housing deadline
  • June 30, 2018 12:01 AM - August 2, 2018 11:59 PM
    Late Registration (increased fees apply)
  • July 28, 2018 - August 2, 2018
    2018 Joint Statistical Meetings
  • Program Participants
  • July 18, 2017 - September 7, 2017 11:59 PM
    Online submission of invited session proposals open
  • September 30, 2017
    Online submission of Continuing Education course proposals deadline
  • October 10, 2017 - October 30, 2017 11:59 PM
    Online submission of invited session abstracts open
  • November 30, 2017 12:01 AM - February 1, 2018 11:59 PM
    Online submission of abstracts (all except invited papers and panels)
  • January 11, 2018
    Online submission of topic-contributed session proposals deadline
  • January 15, 2018
    Online submission of Computer Technology Workshop (CTW) proposals deadline
  • January 23, 2018 - April 3, 2018 11:59 PM
    Online submission of JSM Meeting & Event Requests
  • January 25, 2018
    Deadline to request registration extension for government agencies
  • March 29, 2018 - April 18, 2018 11:59 PM
    Online abstract editing open
  • May 17, 2018
    Draft manuscript deadline