ASA Member News Archive
ASA Member News September 2013
September 2013 Edition
Statistical Outreach & News
POSTDOC NUMBERS SMALL, BUT ON THE RISE, FOR STATISTICS
According to data in a new report from NSF, Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering: Fall 2011, the number of postdocs in statistics is rising, but still small, compared to mathematics and other scientific disciplines. In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 99 postdocs in statistics, compared to 706 for mathematics and applied mathematics. For more information, see this ASA Community blog entry.
NATURE METHODS LAUNCHES STATISTICS COLUMN WITH ASA MEMBER AS COAUTHOR
In a blog post titled “Let’s give statistics the attention it deserves in biological research,” Nature Methods Chief Editor Daniel Evanko announced the launch of Points of Significance, a monthly column devoted to statistics with ASA member Naomi Altman as a coauthor. The editorial for the September issue of Nature Methods, Matters of Significance, also is devoted to statistics, with the subtitle “Sound experimental design and analysis require improved statistical training.” The first Points of Significance column can be read here. For more information, see this ASA Community blog entry.
AAAS EXPANDS THEIR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FELLOWSHIP TO INCLUDE BIG DATA & ANALYTICS
The highly successful and influential AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship program, which places PhD scientists in federal agencies or congressional offices for a year, has expanded their fellowship program areas to include the Big Data & Analytics track. They expect 5–15 placements in almost any federal agency. If you’ve ever felt statistical scientists need a larger voice in federal policy, this is your opportunity. The ASA encourages statistical scientists to apply for this fellowship, for which applications are due November 1. For more information, see this ASA Community blog entry.
CONGRESS RETURNS FROM RECESS TO FACE NUMEROUS CHALLENGES
Congress returns from its August recess September 9 and will face numerous challenges around the FY14 budget—which begins October 1—the debt ceiling, and sequestration. For an in-depth discussion, see this September 3 AAAS report, FY 2014 Appropriations so Far: A Roundup. To track the FY14 budget developments for NIH, NSF, and the statistical agencies, see these ASA Community blog entries: FY14 NSF and NIH Budget Developments and FY14 Statistical Agency Budget Developments. Congress also will resume work on reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, which is more than five years overdue. For more information, see this August 23 legislative update from the Triangle Coalition for STEM Education.
ASA MEMBERS URGE UPDATING STATISTICAL MODELS IN CLIMATE RESEARCH
A group of ASA members has published an article, titled “Uncertainty Analysis in Climate Change Assessments,” in the September issue of Nature Climate Change. In calling for the use of several recommended state-of-the-art statistical methods outlined in their article, the group wrote, “If these recommendations are adopted, the improvements in uncertainty quantification would thereby help policymakers to better understand the risks of climate change and adopt policies that prepare the world for the future.” The authors are all current or former members of ASA’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change Policy. Click here to read the article (subscription required).
ASA ENDORSES PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES FOR A FEDERAL STATISTICAL AGENCY
The ASA Board of Directors unanimously endorsed Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency (Fifth Edition) during its meeting earlier this month. The publication is a project of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), a standing unit of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. Principles and Practices was developed in 1992 in response to requests for CNSTAT to provide advice on what constitutes an effective federal government statistical agency. Read the press release.
MADIGAN APPOINTED COLUMBIA EVP AND DEAN
ASA member David Madigan recently was named executive vice president and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University by the school’s president. Madigan had served as the interim dean since March. He joined the university’s faculty in 2007 as a professor of statistics and became the department’s chair the following year. Madigan said fostering a more diverse faculty is one of his key objectives, along with supporting the highest quality teaching and learning. Click to read the Columbia announcement.
TABLES TURNED IN ARGENTINA
Argentine Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno, who prosecuted former INDEC CPI director Graciela Bevacqua and others, has been charged with abusing his power by fining and pursuing legal action against individuals who publish independent inflation data. Judge Claudio Bonadio said Moreno’s actions to fine economists roughly $87,700 (U.S.) was “nothing other than an effort to silence” experts who were releasing public information in the form of technical data that challenges the government’s official inflation rate. The judge also placed an $8,735 (U.S.) lien on Moreno’s assets and filed similar charges against two lower-ranking officials. Read more in this Washington Post article. For background, see this December 2012 Amstat News article, “Politics and Statistics Collide in Argentina.”
WALTER HONORED BY ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA
Stephen Walter, an ASA Fellow and 41-year member, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). Walter, a professor in the department of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, was honored for his outstanding international reputation developing and applying statistical methods in biomedical research. He will be inducted into RSC’s Life Sciences Division during a ceremony November 16 in Banff, Alberta. Election to the academies of the RSC is the highest honor a Canadian scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences. Read more.
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. The latest CFR article in Amstat News is Post-doc Fellowships, Programs, and Opportunities and features Q&A’s with NSF and NIH program officers and NSF and NIH fellowship recipients. NSF Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship proposals are due October 16, and NIH Postdoctoral Fellowships are due December 8. The October Amstat News will feature graduate/predoctoral fellowships which, for NSF, are due in early November, and, for NIH, on December 8. As another reminder, the next deadline for letters of intent for PCORI, Improving Methods for Conducting Patient-Centered Outcomes Research is October 15.See other funding announcements at the ASA Community group, Funding Opportunities.
To receive updates about ASA science policy activities or news, follow us on Twitter: @ASA_SciPol. See recent Tweets at http://www.amstat.org/policy/.
Meetings, Education, & Events
GOVERNMENT DATA AND CONFIDENTIALITY: COMPATIBLE COMPANIONS WITH THE HELP OF STATISTICAL DISCLOSURE CONTROL – WEBINAR - SEPTEMBER 25
Get an in-depth glimpse of practical statistical disclosure control (SDC) treatments that you, as a data producer, can use when working with government data to address confidentiality concerns, or you, as a data user, should be aware of. This webinar, presented by ASA member Tom Krenzke, will provide practical insights to balance disclosure risk, data utility, and other issues relating to operational feasibility, budget, and timelines. For more information and to register, go to the website.
23RD ANNUAL MORRIS HANSEN LECTURE: ENVISIONING THE 2030 U.S. CENSUS – Washington, DC – OCTOBER 2
This presentation will look beyond 2020 to 2030 and speculate on radical changes that could allow for greater census accuracy and lower costs. Methodologies we will consider include the use of aerial photography to supplement or even replace the master address file, the multiple roles for administrative records, and the widespread use of both individual- and family-level online census forms. We will discuss both obstacles and opportunities in addressing the challenge of placing everyone in the United States into appropriate household locations, and we will re-examine the concept of counting everyone, “once, and only once, and in the right place.” Please pre-register for this event online.
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICAL COMPUTING WITH R AND BIOCONDUCTOR WORKSHOP – University of Akron – OCTOBER 4
The Cleveland Chapter of the ASA and department of statistics at the University of Akron will host a workshop and symposium in celebration of the International Year of Statistics. This full-day workshop will be presented by Martin Morgan of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the University of Akron. The following day, the symposium “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
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 including 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIG DATA AND ANALYTICS EDCON 2013 - Las Vegas, NV – November 2-3
IBM, the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool), and the University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management are joining forces to create a workshop to discuss the future of Big Data and analytics and revolutionize the availability of Big Data and analytics skills for businesses to leverage. One conference goal is to outline projects and plans for developing K–12, undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate curricula. Registration and more conference information are available.
2013 FCSM RESEARCH CONFERENCE – Washington, DC – November 4–6, 2013
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 the government, 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 COPAFS website for more information about registration or to view the advance program. Questions may be sent to email@example.com.
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 and 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. Registration will open October 1.
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 (GAMM AG UQ), and American Geophysical Union (AGU). 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
HOW TO FIND AND PREPARE FOR OPPORTUNITES TO WORK IN DEVELOPING NATIONS
Working in a developing nation can be an extremely rewarding element of your professional life, and if your experience is anything like James Cochran’s, the benefits will be plentiful and spill over into your private life. However, finding a suitable problem to which you can contribute your particular statistical expertise can be challenging. Read More.
SIGNIFICANCE MAGAZINE ONLINE WEB EXCLUSIVES
CORRELATION AND CAUSATION EXPLAINED
Though the word correlation usually refers to how two quantities vary together, perhaps it may be due to extensive use of Pearson’s correlation coefficient. It often is associated with a linear relationship between the two. Even many scientific people misinterpret zero correlation as independence of the two quantities, forgetting about what it really means; there is no linear association between the two quantities concerned. Read More.
Read more web exclusives from Significance.
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 online.
ASA’s CAREER SUCCESS FACTORS INITIATIVE PRESENTS AN APPROACH TOWARD LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FOR STATISTICIANS
More articles, presentations, and panel discussions are occurring on the topic of leadership for statisticians. If you are sold on the notion of developing your leadership skills or those for your group of statisticians, how do you get started? The Global Statistical Sciences and Advanced Analytics organization at Eli Lilly and Company has prepared a 90-minute webcast, comprised of 10 segments, that gives an overview of their leadership development program for statisticians. The webcast will provide the Eli Lilly perspective on the importance of leadership development for statisticians, the components of their leadership program, and ideas for getting started. Whether you are an individual statistician, part of a small group, or belong to a large organization of statisticians, you will come away with a better understanding of leadership and a kick-start on your leadership development journey.
CAREER PLANNING WEBCAST
A webcast recording about career planning is now available via the ASA webpage. Six eminent statisticians—Christy Chuang-Stein (Pfizer), Cynthia Clark (NASS, USDA), Fred Hulting (General Mills), Sally Morton (Univ. of Pittsburgh), Nat Schenker (NCHS, CDC), and Dan Solomon (NC State Univ.)—address a series of questions focused on career planning issues that arise during the course of one’s career, and how they dealt with those issues. Their candid answers may help you deal with the same or similar issues that may arise during your career.
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, and join Peter Petocz (Macquarie U., Australia), the continuing co-editor, until December 2015. The deadline for submission of nominations is October 30. Please send nominations or questions to the chair of the search committee, Chris Reading. Questions about the practicalities of the editorship can be sent either to the continuing co-editor, Peter Petocz, or the departing co-editor, Bob delMas. Nomination details are available.
CURRICULUM GUIDELINES FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS IN STATISTICAL SCIENCE WEBINARS
The American Statistical Association endorses the value of undergraduate programs in statistical science, both for statistical science majors and for students in other majors seeking a minor or concentration. Guidelines for such programs were endorsed in 2000, and a new workgroup is working to update them. To help gather input and identify issues and areas for discussion, the workgroup has organized a series of webinars to focus on different issues. These are free to attend, and will be made available after the event. Visit the website for more information.
JSM PROCEEDINGS ACCESS NOW AVAILABLE TO ASA MEMBERS
JSM proceedings from 2009 onward 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 Robert Francis Bordley of Booz Allen Hamilton and Paul Charles Winters of the University of Rochester Medical Center – Department of Family Medicine Research, who became accredited members during August. View the full list of accredited members.
ASA WEB-BASED LECTURES: Various
AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, & CONTESTS
ASA AWARDS AND DEADLINES - Various
LESTER R. CURTIN AWARD – Deadline: October 15
CALL FOR 2014 STUDENT INTERNSHIP LISTING
If your organization would like to list an internship opportunity at no charge in the December 2013 issue of Amstat News and on the ASA website, visit our education section and return the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 20. Any 2014 internship listings received after October 20 will be posted on the ASA website only.
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 and appeal 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.
Feedback, comments, or suggestions are welcome please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.