ASA 175th Anniversary Blog

ASA at 175 - Some ASA demographics

By Ronald Wasserstein - April 22, 2014

Two unrelated things - an inquiry from a student working on a class project and the upcoming Women in Statistics conference – set me to thinking briefly about the demographics of ASA membership during its 175th anniversary year.

ASA members have the option to include demographic information, and about 75% of members have provided this information.  Of those, about 1/3 are women.  It is worth noting that women make up 43% of ASA members under 45, but only 23% of members 45 years of age and older.

Speaking of age, the mean age of members is 47.5 years, and the median age is 46. ...

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ASA at 175 - More Support for the Importance of Statistics

By Ronald Wasserstein - April 21, 2014

A few days ago, we blogged about statistics being listed as one of the top jobs in the U.S.  Now in this past weekend’s New York Times was an op-ed article by Thomas Friedman titled “How to Get a Job at Google, Part 2” that adds further evidence to the importance of and opportunities in statistics as a career.

In the article, Friedman interviews Laszlo Bock, Google’s “senior vice president for people operations.”  The interview is a follow-up to a February interview with Bock about what employers like Google are looking for in new employees. In the more recent interview, Bock says...

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ASA at 175 - Policy - Science at the crossroads? Data sharing, reproducibility, and related issues

By Ronald Wasserstein - April 18, 2014

During this 175th anniversary year of the ASA, issues that have a major statistical component have been at the forefront of major policy discussions. 

  • Who does data belong to, especially when it is collected using federal funds?
  • What are the most effective ways of sharing data so that science is advanced while protecting the intellectual property of those who collected it and any personal data it might contain?
  • How do we make sure research results are widely available, especially research that was supported by federal funds?
  • How do we make it possible to check the reproducibility of research results?  (By “reproducibility” we mean that...

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ASA at 175 - "Statistician" again listed among the top jobs

By Ronald Wasserstein - April 15, 2014

We are pleased to report that has once again listed “statistician” as one of the top jobs in 2014 in the US, coming in at #3 in its “Jobs Rated Report.” (“Mathematician” was rated #1, followed by “University Professor (Tenured).”

We’ve written previously in this blog about where to find information about statistics as a career, noting a March 4, 2014, article in the Careers section of Science magazine.  The article highlighted continued demand for jobs in traditional areas of statistics, but emphasized the increasing demand for data scientists. The article described data science as “a fusion of statistics, computer science, and analytics in...

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ASA at 175 - Selecting ASA Fellows

By Ronald Wasserstein - April 14, 2014

One of the most distinguished awards given to ASA members is the designation “ASA Fellow.” As I write, the ASA Committee on Fellows is meeting downstairs in the ASA HQ in Alexandria, VA, to finalize the selection of 2014 Fellows.  Committee members have been working hard over the past six weeks to review and rate 119 nomination packets, and now they must whittle the list down to at most 63 people.

According to the ASA By-Laws (Article I, part 5), “By the honorary title of Fellow, the Association recognizes full members of established reputation who have made outstanding contributions in some aspect...

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