ASA Headlines

ASA Invites Students to Cast their Presidential Election Predictions with New Contest

With the presidential election less than four months away and political conventions in the near distance, what better time to start predicting election results! The ASA, through its public education campaign, This is Statistics, is launching Prediction 2016, a contest for high-school and undergraduate students throughout the United States to predict the winner in each state and the District of Columbia. While political pundits and prognosticators often rely on observational data, statistics has the power to yield greater insight into who will be the 45th president and educate Americans about the dynamics and complexities of the election process. Submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on October 24, and contest winners will be announced on November 9, the day after Election Day. Get all the details here.

ASA Joins 30 Societies on Letter to Congress with Consensus Scientific View of Climate Change

The ASA is one of 31 science organizations that signed a letter to members of Congress stating: “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.” The letter also has two paragraphs about the impact of climate change and states “[A]daptation is necessary to address unavoidable consequences...” The letter concludes, “We, in the scientific community, are prepared to work with you on the scientific issues important to your deliberations as you seek to address the challenges of our changing climate.” A press release with quotes from many heads of the letter’s signatories is available here.

Aarti Shah Named Chief Information Officer for Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly and Company announced on June 13 the promotion of Aarti Shah to senior vice president and chief information officer, effective July 1. Shah joined Lilly in 1994 as a senior statistician after completing her doctorate in applied statistics from the University of California, Riverside. During her career at Lilly, she has held many technical and administrative leadership positions, including serving as vice president for biometrics and advanced analytics and as executive director of global information sciences. In her new role, she will lead the efforts of a worldwide IT organization with more than 1,300 employees, in addition to many contractors and external business partners, to deliver innovative IT solutions to the business.

Liberal Arts + Data Analysis Skills Fare Better in Entry-Level Jobs

Job-market-analytics company Burning Glass Technologies examined hundreds of thousands of entry-level job postings over 12 months and found 137,000 for liberal arts graduates with data-analysis skills. Additionally, the firm’s research found that data-analysis jobs paid an average of $12,700 more than the typical salary of traditional jobs open to liberal arts students without that skill set. The findings were recently published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Statisticians’ Compile List of 10 Simple Rules for Effective Statistical Practice

Statistics may be everywhere, but a constant challenge for researchers is that statistics aren’t always understood, calculated or communicated effectively. Leading statisticians Robert E. Kass of Carnegie Mellon University; Brian S. Caffo of Johns Hopkins University; Marie Davidian of North Carolina State University; Xiao-Li Meng of Harvard University; Bin Yu of the University of California Berkeley; and Nancy Reid of the University of Toronto have penned “Ten Simple Rules for Effective Statistical Practice” to help researchers avoid pitfalls of misrepresenting data or formulating hypotheses based on faulty statistical reasoning. The list was recently published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.


Rebecca Doerge: Latest Statistician Named Senior University Administrator

The statistical community congratulates Rebecca Doerge for being named dean of the Mellon College of Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Doerge joins a growing list of statisticians in senior university administration positions that includes a university president.

Data Science Tops List of Fields with Massive Potential

eCampus News examines three burgeoning fields of study, and data science comes in at number one for a field of study that leads to a "future-ready" career. The article, which considers data science a "continuation of some of the data analysis fields such as statistics, data mining, and predictive analytics," compiled data from a number of job-hunting and career services websites. Referencing the increasing demand for statistics and huge growth in statistics degrees, it serves as a helpful tool for students thinking about postsecondary opportunities. It also highlights areas in which colleges and universities could expand their focus on data science.

Winner of Free ASA Membership

Winner of Monthly Drawing for FREE ASA Membership Congratulations to Mostapha Makine, winner of the June drawing for FREE ASA membership.






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Other Recent Headlines

ASA Mourns Loss of Fred Leone

The ASA community mourns the passing of Fred C. Leone, a former executive director of the ASA, who passed away July 14, 2016, at the age of 93 in Galion, Ohio. Born August 3, 1922, in New York City, Fred married Elizabeth “Betty” (Spencer) Leone on October 15, 1945. He proudly served in the United States Navy during World War II. Fred earned his PhD from Purdue University and previously was a professor at the University of Iowa. Fred was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Galion, Nativity Parish Church in Washington, DC, and Christian Life Communities. Memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Charities in care of the funeral home.

Four Statisticians Elected Members of the National Academy of Sciences

The American Statistical Association congratulates the following four ASA members, who were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences:

Steven Evans of the University of California at Berkeley
Susan Murphy of the University of Michigan
Larry Wasserman of Carnegie Mellon University
Nancy Reid of the University of Toronto

ASA Mourns Loss of Ingram Olkin

The ASA community mourns the passing of Ingram Olkin of Stanford University on April 28. Born in 1924, Olkin was a mentor, friend, role model, leader, and legend in the statistical community and beyond. Indeed, many of those whose lives he touched gathered at JSM 2014 in Boston to enthusiastically celebrate his birthday. In this 2014 Amstat News piece about his nonagenarian birthday, he expressed no regrets: "I was blessed in my career. I had good mentors and colleagues and super students. It's not clear to me what I could have done differently to improve on any of those because it is your teachers, colleagues, and students—your friends—who become important in your life. I've been fortunate to have a super group in each of those categories." The statistical community was blessed many times over by Olkin's extensive influence and presence. The ASA leadership and staff extend their condolences to his family. Ingram Olkin was featured in two videos in ASA's Distinguished Statistician series. One is a conversation with Dr. Olkin discussing his career in statistics. A memorial service is being planned for July 10 in Palo Alto (details not yet available).

ASA Statement on P-Values Draws Attention

More than 108,000 views of the ASA's Statement on P-Values and Statistical Significance since it was released on Monday, March 7. Many science media outlets have picked up the story. Here are a few examples:


Articles are popping up in more general media, as well. For example, the story was picked up on Inside Higher Education and Vox. And many people are blogging, tweeting, and posting.

ASA members have been posting to ASA Connect or writing directly to ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein. We want to hear from you about the statement, and we encourage you to spread the word through your networks, especially to those in your networks who are not statisticians, but are users of statistics.


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