ASA 175th Anniversary Blog

ASA at 175 - The ASA Founders Award

By Ronald Wasserstein - April 25, 2014

I wrote in the April 8 ASA at 175 blog about ways to help the ASA promote the practice and profession of statistics through volunteer service. This week, a committee has been quietly but diligently working to select the 2014 honorees of the Founders Award, the highest honor bestowed by the ASA. It is particularly appropriate to write about the Founders Award during our 175th anniversary year because it was first awarded during our 150th anniversary year.

The Founders Award is presented annually for distinguished service to the association. Award honorees have served the association over an extended period and in a...

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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 CareerCast.com 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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