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First-Time Attendees

Thank you for choosing to attend the virtual Joint Statistical Meetings. 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.
  • You will have the opportunity to connect with 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.
What is the difference between special sessions, 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., Tuesday night’s invited address).

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 does 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 is the Career Service?
JSM 2020 will feature a virtual career service—an online portal connecting employers and candidates. As a candidate, you can create an online profile, upload your résumé, and access the employer search—including organizational information and position postings. 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.

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 topic.
  • Student Paper Award – Usually organized as a topic-contributed session. 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.

JSM Mentoring Program

The JSM Mentoring Program matches experienced statisticians and data scientists (mentors) with early-career statisticians and data scientists (students, new ASA members, and first-time JSM attendees).

Please consider serving in this important role. Your participation will entail sending an email to your assigned mentee about a week before JSM to decide on a time and virtual place to meet at least once during JSM. Many of us were fortunate to have a colleague show interest in us and help us open doors in our career. Please help strengthen our community by doing the same for an early-career colleague this year at JSM.

This mentoring program is one way the ASA is promoting the practice and profession of statistics. Getting mentoring advice from a more experienced colleague can help open doors in your career and help you, in turn, promote the practice and profession of statistics. Are you interested in applying to participate in this program? To help you decide, here is what your participation will entail: connecting with your mentor prior to JSM to decide on a time and virtual place to meet during JSM.

Sign up to be a mentor or mentee.

JSM Docent Program

Docent is derived from the Latin verb docēre, which means to instruct, teach, or point out. Although we are all first-timers at a virtual JSM, docents know about the benefits of ASA membership, the partner societies, and how to choose sessions. They also have a lot of professional experience. Docents will facilitate the breakout rooms during the First-Time Attendee orientation and host networking meet-ups during JSM. If they don’t know the answer to a question, they know who to ask!

Sign up to be a docent.

Expert Advice

Key Dates

  • May 27, 2020 11:00 AM - June 30, 2020 11:59 PM
    Deadline to register to receive JSM Care Package
  • July 1, 2020 12:01 AM - August 6, 2020 11:59 PM
  • August 2, 2020 - August 6, 2020
    2020 Joint Statistical Meetings
  • Program Participants
  • July 18, 2019 - September 5, 2019 11:59 PM
    Online submission of invited session proposals open
  • September 30, 2019
    Online submission of Continuing Education course proposals deadline
  • October 9, 2019 - October 29, 2019 11:59 PM
    Online submission of invited session abstracts open
  • November 12, 2019 12:01 AM - December 10, 2019 11:59 PM
    Online submission of topic-contributed session proposals
  • December 3, 2019 12:01 AM - February 4, 2020 11:59 PM
    Online submission of abstracts (all except invited papers and panels)
  • January 15, 2020
    Online submission of Computer Technology Workshop (CTW) proposals deadline
  • January 22, 2020 - April 2, 2020 11:59 PM
    Online submission of JSM Meeting & Event Requests
  • January 28, 2020
    Deadline to request registration extension for government agencies
  • May 27, 2020 12:01 AM - July 1, 2020 11:59 PM
    Online abstract editing open
  • June 10, 2020
    Draft manuscript deadline