ASA Member News Archive
ASA Member News August 2013
August 2013 Edition
Statistical Outreach & News
NATIONAL ACADEMIES’ REPORT EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF INFERENCE IN ADDRESSING BIG DATA CHALLENGES
A new report from the National Academies’ Committee of Applied and Theoretical Statistics makes a strong case for the role of statistics in meeting the challenges of big data. Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis was supported by the National Security Agency and written by the Committee on the Analysis of Massive Data, which was chaired by Berkeley's Michael I. Jordan. To see select excerpts and a summary of their conclusions, see this ASA Community blog entry.
BIG DATA WAS A BIG TOPIC AT JSM
Nineteen JSM sessions included big data in their session titles and scores of talks included the term in their abstracts, showing a large jump over the 2012 JSM program, when three sessions had Big Data in their titles and eight had the term in their abstracts. To see a listing of the 2013 JSM Big Data sessions, view this ASA Community blog entry.
THOMPSON CONFIRMED AS U.S. CENSUS BUREAU DIRECTOR; MESENBOURG RETIRES
Two months after being nominated by President Obama, the U.S. Senate confirmed John H. Thompson as the U.S. Census Bureau director on August 1. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee considered Thompson’s nomination at a July 9 hearing, a video of which can be viewed here. ASA President Marie Davidian enthusiastically supported Thompson’s nomination in a May 30 letter. Also on August 1, Acting Director Thomas Mesenbourg announced his retirement. Mesenbourg had a long, distinguished career at the U.S. Census Bureau, having started there in 1972 and serving as acting director prior to the confirmation of Robert M. Groves.
NEW NSF LEADERSHIP
Former Purdue University President France Córdova was announced in late July as President Obama’s nominee to lead the National Science Foundation (NSF). A CalTech-trained astrophysicist, Córdova was chief scientist to NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin and chancellor of the University of California at Riverside. When confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she will become the second woman to lead the NSF. For more, see this ScienceInsider interview. Earlier this month, Rutgers Mathematics Professor Michael Vogelius was named as the division director for the NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS). Vogelius succeeds Sastry Pantula, who leaves DMS this month for Oregon State University, where he will be dean of the OSU College of Science. DMS Deputy Director Henry Warchall will serve as DMS acting director until Vogelius’s expected start in January. The ASA thanks Pantula for his service at NSF and looks forward to working with Vogelius.
CONGRESS RECESSES WITH FY14 BUDGETS FAR FROM FINISHED
With fiscal year 2014 (FY14) starting on October 1, there is little doubt that the federal budget will be operating on a continuing resolution (CR), meaning that federal agencies will be operating at their FY13 levels and with much uncertainty about what their FY14 budgets will be. The Senate levels for FY14 are generally much larger than the House levels for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and most federal statistical agencies. For more information, see these ASA Community blog entries: FY14 NSF and NIH Budget Developments and FY14 Statistical Agency Budget Developments. ASA members are encouraged to contact their members of Congress to voice support for the Senate FY14 levels.
STATsNSF INTERIM REPORT
At the July 18 meeting of the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, StatsNSF Subcommittee Co-Chairs Iain Johnston and Fred Robers provided an update of their panel’s work. The panel has widened its scope to data science, which they define to clearly include statistics, “the science of planning, acquisition, management, analysis of, and inference from data.” Their draft recommendations focus on NSF organization, research initiatives, work force development, and panels and proposals. For background on StatsNSF, see this ASA Community blog entry and the blog entries linked therein.
ASA MEMBERS TALK CAREERS
ASA President Marie Davidian and North Carolina State University Statistics Department Chair Montse Fuentes are featured in a new LocalJobNetwork.com Radio show called “I want to be a … .” The show delivers to the website’s visitors information about education and career path, how to land a job in various professions or industries, and the pros and cons of these positions. The program director, Tim Muma, said he wanted to produce a segment on statisticians because there was great interest in the field by the site’s users. Davidian and Fuentes focused on the ins and outs of careers in statistical science, including educational and skill requirements; the typical day for statisticians in academic, government, and business settings; the responsibilities of the job; why they love statistics; and myths associated with statisticians. Davidian also touted the International Year of Statistics. You can listen to the interview, which is in two parts, by clicking here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. LocalJobNetwork.com is a job-search website that delivers local job listings to its users.
VOGELIUS TO LEAD NSF MATH SCIENCES
Michael Vogelius will become the director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) in January. He succeeds Sastry Pantula, ASA past president (2010), who is leaving the post at the end of his three-year term to become the dean of the Oregon State University College of Science. Vogelius is a professor in the department of mathematics at Rutgers University, where he has been since 1989 and served as the chair since 2009. Prior to that, he was on the faculty of the University of Maryland and has held visiting appointments at Stanford University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and the University of Copenhagen.
NEW ASA COMMUNITY GROUP ON FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
To facilitate communication of funding opportunity announcements year round, the ASA Committee on Funded Research (CFR) has developed an ASA Community group, Funding Opportunities, to which you can sign up to receive notification of funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) of interest to statisticians. Funding opportunities from NSF, NIH, DoE, and others are distributed through this listserv. To access it, log in to the ASA Community and search for “funding opportunities.” As always, the ASA CFR solicits your feedback about how it can best facilitate communication between funding agencies and ASA members.
Meetings, Education, & Events
NATIONAL ACADEMIES UPCOMING EVENTS
The National Academies will be holding three upcoming events in Washington, DC, during September.Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Privacy in a Big Data World: A Symposium of the Board on Research Data and Information, and Second Plenary of the Research Data Alliance. Visit the websites of each to learn more information and to participate.
RSS 2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE – Newcastle, UK – September 2–5
Registration is now open for the Royal Statistical Society’s annual conference this September. The conference will include the usual mix of keynote speakers, invited sessions, professional development workshops, and networking opportunities, as well as the society’s annual awards ceremony. The draft program is available.
ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC DATA USERS ANNUAL CONFERENCE: A SEA CHANGE FOR PUBLIC DATA – THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 16–17
For the producers and users of public data, these are not times for “business as usual.” Founded almost 40 years ago when computer media was just beginning to transform the data world, APDU has remained at the cutting edge of data dissemination and user processing. This conference offers insights about data collection, design and delivery technologies, strategies for addressing data quality concerns, and creative applications of public and private data tools. Featured speakers include newly confirmed U.S. Census Bureau Director John Thompson. There will be sessions on open data for local policy and planning, social media data, housing, transportation, health care, research methods/tools, the American Community Survey, and more. For more information and online registration, visit the website.
ASA BIOPHARMACEUTICAL SECTION FDA-INDUSTRY STATISTICS WORKSHOP – Washington, DC – September 16–18
The ASA Biopharmaceutical Section FDA-Industry Statistics Workshop is sponsored by the ASA Biopharmaceutical Section in cooperation with the FDA Statistical Association. Each year, the conference offers two days of invited 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. Conference attendance is limited to 800 participants. Housing is still available, and registration is now open.
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICAL COMPUTING WITH R AND BIOCONDUCTOR WORKSHOP – UNIVERSITY OF AKRON – OCTOBER 4
The Cleveland Chapter of the ASA and the department of statistics at the University of Akron will host a workshop and symposium to celebrate the International Year of Statistics. This full-day workshop will be presented by Martin Morgan of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The following day, a symposium, titled “Statistics at the Crossroads: Its Multifaceted Impact on Society,” will be held at the same location. For complete information, visit the Cleveland Chapter website.
10TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HEALTH POLICY STATISTICS – Chicago, IL – October 9–11
Hotel reservations for ICHPS will close on September 8,so book your stay at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel today. Join us in Chicago for a conference that provides a unique forum for discussing research needs and solutions to the methodological challenges in the design of studies and analysis of data for health policy research. In addition to the keynote, plenary, and paper sessions, there are 11 workshops available on topics such as causal inference, comparative effectiveness research, missing data, and joint longitudinal/survival models. Be sure to register today!
THE BIENNIAL NONCLINICAL BIOSTATISTICS CONFERENCE – Villanova, PA – October 15–17
This conference is jointly organized by statisticians from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and FDA, in collaboration with the department of mathematics and statistics at Villanova University. The conference provides a venue for the presentation and discussion of scientific and statistical issues in the nonclinical areas of biomarkers/discovery, preclinical safety/toxicology and chemistry, manufacturing, and controls. Two short courses about technical topics also are offered and included with registration. Details, key dates, registration, and abstract submission materials are posted on the conference website. Questions, suggestions, and comments may be directed to email@example.com.
2013 FCSM RESEARCH CONFERENCE – Washington, DC – November 4–6
Registration is now open, and the advance program is available for the 2013 Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) Research Conference! This three-day conference will bring together researchers in the statistical community from government, the private sector, and academia to discuss and exchange current research and methodological topics relevant to statistical programs. An early registration fee of $175 applies through September 30. The regular registration fee of $195 applies starting October 1. Visit the FCSM website or the COPAFS website for more information about registration or to view the advance program. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
69TH ANNUAL DEMING CONFERENCE ON APPLIED STATISTICS – Atlantic City, NJ – DECEMBER 8–13
The website, www.demingconference.com, which contains the full description of the 12 tutorials as well the following two-day short courses, is open for conference and hotel registration. Discounted registration fees are available thru October 1.
2014 ASA CONFERENCE ON STATISTICAL PRACTICE – Tampa, FL – February 20–22, 2014
Statistical Practice 2014 will bring together hundreds of statistical practitioners—including data analysts, researchers, and scientists—who engage in the application of statistics to solve real-world problems on a daily basis. The conference will provide an opportunity to learn about the latest statistical methodologies and best practices in statistical design, analysis, programming, and consulting. Practical Computing Expo proposals and poster abstracts are being accepted now.
SIAM CONFERENCE ON UNCERTAINTY QUANTIFICATION (UQ14) – Savannah, GA – March 31–April 3
UQ14 will bring together mathematicians, statisticians, scientists, and engineers with an interest in the development and implementation of uncertainty quantification methods. The goal is to provide a forum for sharing ideas and enhance communication among this diverse group of technical experts, thereby contributing to future advances in the field. The conference is being held in cooperation with the American Statistical Association, GAMM Activity Group on Uncertainty Quantification, and American Geophysical Union. Instructions for participating and more are available on the website.
Statistical events are happening around the country and the globe. View our Upcoming Events Calendar.
Off the Press
ASA 2013 STATISTICS POSTER AND PROJECT COMPETITION WINNERS
The American Statistical Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Poster Competition and Project Competition. First-place winners received $200, a plaque, a plaque for their school, and grade-appropriate graphing calculators for the students and advisors provided by Texas Instruments. Second-place winners received $100 and a plaque; third-place winners received $50 and a plaque; and honorable mentions received certificates. Read more.
SIGNIFICANCE MAGAZINE ONLINE WEB EXCLUSIVES
REFEREEING THE ABUSERS OF STATISTICS
Statistics being used to conveniently back up a certain point of view or simply quoting false facts has been an issue since the dawn of politics and newspapers. In the UK, this issue has come to life recently with some glaring statistical missteps by politicians and media figures. In the featured video, Sir Andrew Dilnot of the UK Statistics Office and Will Moy from the Full Fact website discuss how politicians have been caught by citing imperfect facts. They go on to talk about public trust in official statistics and their interpretation in the media. View here.
Read more web exclusives from Significance.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR A NEW CO-EDITOR: STATISTICS EDUCATION RESEARCH JOURNAL
The International Association for Statistical Education (IASE) is starting a search for the next co-editor of Statistics Education Research Journal (SERJ), its peer-reviewed electronic journal. The new editor will serve a four-year term starting January 1, 2014, joining Peter Petocz—the continuing co-editor—until December 2015. Nomination requirements are available. Please send nominations or questions to the chair of the search committee, Chris Reading. Questions about the practicalities of the editorship also can be sent to Peter Petocz or to the departing co-editor, Bob DelMas. Deadline for submission of nominations is October 30.
STATISTICS TEACHER NETWORK (STN) ISSUE 81 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 81 of STN is now online.
SUBMIT YOUR PAPER TO THE 2013 JSM PROCEEDINGS
The submission site will be open from 12 p.m. EDT August 23 to 11:59 p.m. EDT September 26. You may publish in the JSM Proceedings if you orally presented your paper or poster at JSM 2013. Visit http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2013/proceedings.cfm for details.
JSM PROCEEDINGS NOW AVAILABLE TO ASA MEMBERS
JSM proceedings from 2009 onwards are accessible through members-only to members, regardless of JSM attendance. To view the proceedings, visit ASA Members Only and select the Online Archives under My Resources & Opportunities. Past JSM proceedings on CD are available through the ASA Store at a discounted rate of $40 for members.
ASA ACCREDITATION PROGRAM CONTINUES TO GROW
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. Benefits include free LearnStat OnDemand access and a 20% discount on regular Continuing Education courses. Special recognition goes to James Patrie of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Nina Kajiji of The NKD Group, and Georgette Asherman of Direct Effects. All became accredited members during the month of July. View the full list of accredited members.
AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, & CONTESTS
LESTER R. CURTIN AWARD – Deadline: October 15
AERA GRANTS PROGRAMS
AERA provides dissertation support for advanced doctoral students to undertake doctoral dissertations using data from the large-scale national or international data sets supported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Science Foundation (NSF), and/or other federal agencies. The selection process is competitive. AERA dissertation grants are awarded for one year and can be up to $20,000. AERA also provides small grants for faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, and other doctoral-level scholars to undertake quantitative research using data from the large-scale national or international data sets supported by the NCES, NSF, and/or other federal agencies. The selection process is competitive. AERA research grants are awarded for one or two years for an amount of up to $35,000. The next application deadline for both grants is September 5.
2013 NATIONAL COMPETITIVE EXAMINATIONS IN STATISTICS 2013
The United Nations is looking for highly qualified candidates who are ready to launch a professional career as an international civil servant. The young professionals program is a recruitment initiative that brings new talent to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination. For young, high-caliber professionals across the globe, the examination is a platform for launching a career at the United Nations. For more information, visit the website.
CAS LAUNCHES PILOT PARTNERSHIP ASA MENTORING PROGRAM
Sponsored with seed money from a 2013 ASA Member Initiative grant, the ASA Committee on Applied Statisticians (CAS) is launching a pilot partnership ASA mentorship program for applied statisticians. Mentorship initiatives targeted toward practicing statisticians have been made in a variety of ASA units, including some sections, chapters, and committees. Also, a past ASA president wrote two Amstat News columns on mentoring, yet many have come to CAS asking if such a program exists. Learn more or help with this pilot program.
FREE LESSON PLANS AVAILABLE 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 their use. The website resource is organized around the four elements in the GAISE framework: formulate a statistical question, design and implement a plan to collect data, analyze the data by measures and graphs, and interpret the data in the context of the original question. Teachers can navigate the site by grade level and statistical topic. In addition to using the free lessons, please consider submitting several of your favorite lesson plans according to the STEW template to email@example.com.
FREE STATISTICS EDUCATION WEBINARS
The American Statistical Association offers free webinars on K–12 statistics education topics. This series was developed as part of the follow-up activities for the Meeting Within a Meeting (MWM) Statistics Workshop. A new webinar on Census at School was posted recently. The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education also offers free webinars on undergraduate statistics education topics.
GIVE THE GIFT OF SIGNIFICANCE TO YOUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL
Help your local high school introduce the power of statistics to our children through a tax-deductible gift subscription to Significance magazine. Significance articles are nontechnical, appealing to everyone interested in statistics and the analysis and interpretation of data. The magazine communicates and demonstrates, in an entertaining and thought-provoking way, the practical use of statistics in all walks of life and shows how statistics benefit society. Provide your local high school with a subscription today.
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