ASA Member News Archive
ASA Member News August 2012
August 2012 Edition
Statistical Outreach & News
NSF ANNOUNCES PLANS TO ADDRESS THE BEST WAYS TO SUPPORT STATISTICAL SCIENCES AT NSF AND IN OUR COMMUNITIES’
NSF Assistant Director Ed Seidel announced plans August 16 to study ways to increase the support of statistical sciences at NSF and to “examine funding for statistical sciences research at NSF, including organizational alternatives and new initiatives.” In a statement commending the NSF action, ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein stated, “We believe that increasing the profile of statistics will help the agency fulfill its mission to support scientific advancement, discovery, and innovation.” Seidel’s announcement came almost a year after a proposal was introduced to change the name of the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) to the Division of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. While the DMS name will not change, the ASA fully supports NSF’s broader plans to raise the profile of statistics. For more information, see this ASA Community blog entry.
HOUSE APPROVES BILL MAKING CENSUS DIRECTORSHIP FIXED TERM, REMOVES SENATE CONFIRMATION FOR BJS & NCES HEADS
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Senate-passed bill August 1 making the U.S. Census Bureau directorship a fixed, five-year term—a long-sought provision by the federal statistical agency community. Unfortunately, the Senate-passed bill, S. 679, “The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011,” also removes Senate confirmation for the National Center for Education Statistics commissioner and the Bureau of Justice Statistics director. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. See links to further information in this ASA Community blog entry.
ASA PRESIDENT SENDS LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR SENATOR ROCKEFELLER’S FORENSIC REFORM EFFORTS
ASA President Bob Rodriguez sent a letter of support to Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV)—chair of the Senate, Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee—for his forensic science reform efforts. The letter was sent July 25, two weeks after Rockefeller introduced his awaited forensic science reform bill: S. 3378, “The Forensic Science and Standards Act of 2012.” Recognizing the importance of statisticians to forensic science reform, the bill specifies statisticians be included on its proposed forensic science advisory committee. The letter is available here, and more on the bill is available in this ASA Community blog entry.
ASA FELLOW THOMAS LOUIS TO LEAD CENSUS BUREAU RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
ASA Fellow and Johns Hopkins biostatistics professor Thomas A. Louis will be the U.S. Census Bureau’s new associate director for research and methodology and chief scientist, announced U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves on August 10. Louis will assume his new duties January 7. “I am excited by the opportunity to build on the momentum and culture that Drs. Groves and [Roderick] Little established to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of statistical design and analysis,” said Louis. Read the Census Bureau news release.
ASA PRESIDENT CALLS FOR CREATING THE "BIG TENT" FOR ALL STATISTICIANS
While making the point that the future strength of the organization lies in serving anyone who solves problems using statistical methods, ASA President Robert N. Rodriguez called for the association to become the “Big Tent” for all statisticians. Rodriguez made these remarks during his presidential address at the recently concluded Joint Statistical Meetings in San Diego, California. Read the ASA news release.
STATISTICS FOR POLICYMAKERS
Did you see the July call for article proposals for a new Amstat News series called “Statistics for Policymakers”? The call was based on the broad interest in the January blog entry, “Statistics for Future Presidents,” which was inspired by the book Physics for Future Presidents. Many readers of the blog entry shared what they think policymakers should know about statistics.
COPAFS NAMES SMITH NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Katherine R. Smith has been named the new executive director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS). Smith will assume her new duties October 1. She joins COPAFS from the American Farmland Trust, where she is the chief economist and vice president for programs. Previously, Smith worked as administrator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service—one of the federal government’s 14 principal statistical agencies. Read more here.
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Meetings, Education, & Events
ROYAL STATISTICAL SOCIETY 2012 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE – Telford International Centre, UK – September 3–6
The Royal Statistical Society’s 2012 International Conference program includes plenary talks from Hal Varian (Google), Martine Durand (OECD), and David Hand (Imperial College), as well as more than 30 invited sessions covering topics as diverse as aging in the 21st century, experimental design challenges in industry, measuring national well-being, and statistics and the Olympics. The conference also will feature a stream of professional development workshops and a full pre-conference short course program. Register for the conference now.
COUNCIL OF CHAPTERS TRAVELING COURSE ‘APPLIED SURVIVAL ANALYSIS’ – San Diego, CA – September 11
The San Diego Chapter of the ASA is hosting the Council of Chapters Traveling Course “Applied Survival Analysis,” to be presented by Susanne May on September 11. For more information and to register, please visit the website.
2012 ASA BIOPHARMACEUTICAL SECTION FDA-INDUSTRY STATISTICS WORKSHOP – Washington, DC – September 12–14
We hope you will join us September 12–14, 2012, at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC, for the 2012 ASA Biopharmaceutical Section FDA-Industry Statistics Workshop. The FDA-Industry Statistics Workshop is sponsored by the ASA Biopharmaceutical Section in cooperation with the FDA Statistical Association. Each year, the conference lasts two days, with sessions co-chaired by statisticians from industry, academia, and the FDA. In addition, short courses on related topics are offered the day prior to the workshop. Participants can select from luncheon roundtables on Tuesday. Make sure to register early to get the luncheon of your choice. Conference attendance is limited to 750 participants.
IAOS CONFERENCE ON OFFICIAL STATISTICS: GETTING OUR MESSAGE ACROSS – UKRAINE - September 12–14
This conference covers relevant topics for official statistics. There will be both plenary sessions and panel discussions. We expect to receive your papers and presentations. Areas covered by the conference include standards for statistical reporting and commentary writing and statistical and graphical presentation techniques, including the use of trend analysis and data visualization. The working languages of the conference will be English, Russian, and Ukrainian. Simultaneous interpretation between them will be provided. Please see the conference website for details.
2012 WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMETRICS – Raleigh, NC – October 4–6
The 2012 ENVR Workshop, “Spatial Modeling and Inference for Environmental Science,” will be held at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. There will be two half-day tutorials on October 4, followed by invited talks and a poster session on October 5 and 6. For more information and to register, please visit the workshop’s website.
2012 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON METHODS FOR SURVEYING AND ENUMERATING HARD-TO-REACH POPULATIONS – New Orleans, LA – October 31–November 3
This conference will bring together survey methodologists, sociologists, statisticians, demographers, ethnographers, policy analysts, and other professionals from around the world to present new and innovative concepts and techniques for surveying hard-to-reach populations. The conference will address both the statistical and survey design aspects of including hard-to-reach groups and serve as a venue to network and share research and experiments designed to advance our understanding of the topic. Register.
Statistical events are happening around the country and the globe. View our Upcoming Events Calendar.
Off the Press
ASA MEMBER APPEARS ON SAN DIEGO TV STATION KUSI
ASA member Shane Reese, professor of statistics at Brigham Young University (BYU), appeared on the morning show of San Diego TV station KUSI during the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in San Diego, California, earlier this month. During his appearance, Reese talked about the statistical profession and the diverse disciplines of statisticians, the ASA, JSM, and his work to help the U.S. men’s and women’s volleyball teams prepare for the London Olympics. Reese and a colleague at BYU developed a statistical model that identified which skills—serves, passes, blocks, and kills—were most important to the teams’ scoring success. The model, which has become a “coaching bible” for U.S. volleyball coaches, is used to create optimal practice sessions for the players on both the men’s and women’s teams. Visit the KUSI website to view the video.
SIGNIFICANCE MAGAZINE ONLINE WEB EXCLUSIVES
BUILD IT UP, SELL IT OFF: THE RISE AND FALL OF SOCIAL HOUSING
This article details the rise and fall of social housing in London, which started in the late 19th century when the 1890 Housing of the Working Classes Act allowed London’s local councils to build houses and clear away slums. The proportion of social housing stock increased from around 1% of housing in 1911 to 10% by 1938. Around a million homes were built under the post-war Labour Government; over 85% of these homes were social housing. Read more.
Read more web exclusives from Significance.
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L. ADRIENNE CUPPLES AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING, RESEARCH, AND SERVICE IN BIOSTATISTICS
This annual award recognizes a biostatistician whose academic achievements reflect the contributions to teaching, research, and service exemplified by professor L. Adrienne Cupples. To be eligible, the nominee must be an internationally recognized statistician/biostatistician who has made significant contributions to the statistical sciences through teaching, research, and service and who is willing to deliver a lecture at the award ceremony held in the department of biostatistics at Boston University on April 4, 2013. Winners of the award will receive a $1,000 honorarium and all expenses paid to attend and present at the Boston University Department of Biostatistics at an annual award day, generally held on the first Thursday in April. More information is available.
NEW WEBNAIR IN THE BIOPHARMACEUTICAL SECTION’S WEB-BASED TRAINING SERIES
“Comparing Strategies for Trials with High Placebo Response” will be presented byAnastasia Ivanova of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Biostatistics on August 27 from noon until 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. The deadline for registration is August 24. For more information and to register, please visit the section’s website.
RAO PRIZE AWARD
The C. R. and Bhargavi Rao Prize was established to honor and recognize outstanding and influential innovations in the theory and practice of mathematical statistics, international leadership in directing statistical research, and pioneering contributions by a recognized leader in the field of statistics. The Rao Prize is awarded by the department of statistics at Penn State University to a nominee selected by the members of the Rao Prize Committee. Nominations for the 2013 Rao Prize should be submitted by December 3. Visit the website for more information.
AAAS STUDENT POSTER COMPETITION AT 2013 ANNUAL MEETING
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) invites students to present their work in poster sessions at its annual meeting in Boston, February 14–18, 2013. Full-time undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. If selected to present a poster, students will be eligible to apply for travel funding and have the meeting registration fee waived by serving as AAAS meeting session aides. The deadline for submission of poster abstracts is October 24. Details about how to apply are available. Students and their advisers are urged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to highlight statistical research and its role in interdisciplinary science at the annual meeting of the world’s largest general scientific society. AAAS publishes the highly respected journal Science and is organized into 24 sections representing all areas of science, including Section U (Statistics), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
INFORM NEW ACTIVITIES, PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT K–16 MATHEMATICS, STATISTICS EDUCATION
The National Science Foundation (NSF), in cooperation with the U.S Department of Education, is interested in input that can inform new activities and programs to support and improve K–16 mathematics education. The working group is viewing mathematics to broadly include pure and applied math, statistics, and the computational sciences. For more information and to provide input regarding K–16 mathematics and statistics education, see the NSF Dear Colleague letter and survey.
STATISTICS TEACHER NETWORK ISSUE 79 NOW ONLINE
The Statistics Teacher Network (STN) is a free newsletter published by the ASA/NCTM Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for Grades K–12. Issue 79 is now online.
Project-SET is a new National Science Foundation–funded project to develop curricular materials that enhance the ability of high-school teachers to foster students’ statistical learning regarding sampling variability and regression. All materials will be geared toward helping high-school teachers implement the Common Core State Standards for statistics and are closely aligned with the learning goals outlined in Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) Report: A Pre-K–12 Curriculum Framework. Materials will be available in January of 2013.
LESSON PLANS AVAILABLE/WANTED ON STATISTICS EDUCATION WEB FOR K–12 TEACHERS
STatistics Education Web (STEW) is an online resource for peer-reviewed lesson plans for K–12 teachers. The lesson plans identify both the statistical concepts being developed and the age range appropriate for its use. Lesson plans will showcase the use of statistical methods and ideas in science and mathematics based on the framework and levels in the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE). The new editor of STEW, Mary Richardson of Grand Valley State University, is accepting submissions of lesson plans for an online bank of peer-reviewed lessons for K–12 teachers of mathematics and science. Consider submitting several of your favorite lesson plans according to the STEW template to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The electronic materials accompanying Mathematica Laboratories for Mathematical Statistics: Emphasizing Simulation and Computer Intensive Methods, by Jenny A. Baglivo, have been updated for use with current versions of Mathematica and are now available online. Potential users interested in requesting an examination or desk copy, or current users who wish to obtain access to the updated online materials, should visit the site.
ASA ACCREDITATION PROGRAM CONTINUES TO GROW
The ASA’s accreditation program recently expanded the benefits of becoming an Accredited Professional Statistician. ASA accreditation is a portfolio-based credential available to only ASA members. It is completely voluntary and intended for those who think such a credential would be meaningful in their professional lives. New benefits include free LearnStat on Demand access, a 20% discount on regular Continuing Education courses (starting at JSM 2012), and special recognition. To find out how to start enjoying extra benefits today, visit the accreditation website and review the guidelines to be sure of your eligibility.
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AND TEACHING STATISTICS
Now available in the ASA Marketplace, Bridging the Gap offers 20 data analysis and probability investigations written as guides for teachers to implement straightforwardly in their K–8 classrooms. Each investigation is based on the four-step statistical process as defined by the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE).
SUBMIT YOUR JSM PAPER TO THE 2012 JSM PROCEEDINGS
If you orally presented a paper or poster at JSM 2012, you’re eligible to publish it in the 2012 JSM Proceedings. The submission site will open at noon EDT on August 23 and close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 28. Visit the proceedings page for submission details and formatting guidelines. Email Valerie Nirala at email@example.com with any questions.
ASA COMMUNITY DISCUSSION POSTINGS
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