There were 21 isolated statisticians (and friends) at the second isostat meeting, held at 3:00 on JSM Sunday in Boston. Albyn Jones submitted the following notes from that meeting.
21 "Isolated Statisticians" (and friends) gathered at the Joint Meetings in Boston last August. Isolated statisticians are statisticians who are geographically or otherwise isolated from other statisticians, often located in mathematics departments at small colleges. Some of the hottest discussion topics included certification proposals, the accessibility of the CIS, and issues relating to computing. A brief summary follows.
Certification- the response to the proposal on certification of undergraduate programs was very negative:
1- most programs preparing students for graduate training in statistics would not meet the certification requirements.
2- the proposal could not be implemented in any liberal arts program, small or large, due to the required semester hours for a statistics major.
There was less consensus on the question of certification of individuals, and since that proposal seems to be a moving target, there won't be until it settles down.
CIS- the current index to statistics. We discussed the options for acquisition.
There was some dissatisfaction expressed over the restrictive
conditions attached to purchase of the CIS in PC format for personal use from the ASA. Ron Thisted has conveyed our concerns to the CIS Management
Committee, which has voted to modify the terms of the personal license for next year to make that license more useful for isolated statisticians. Thank you Ron!
Acquisition of software, hardware, etc.- Don Bentley suggested trying to persuade some large institution to help small colleges by letting them "piggy-back" on volume purchases. There is already a consortium of liberal arts colleges that negotiates deals with vendors (the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges, contact Marty Ringle at Reed College <ringle~reed.edu> for more information). There are lots of sources of public domain software on the internet, as well as discussion lists, newsgroups etc. Special thanks to Carnegie-Mellon University for statlib!
Email: We collected email addresses at the meeting to create an "isolated statisticians" mailing list. Contact Don Bentley <dbentley~pomona.claremont.edu> if you would like to be added to the list.
Technical Reports: there was a brief discussion of a proposal for small college statisticians to publish a combined technical report list. No action was taken.
Isolated statisticians plan to meet again in San Francisco.