Minutes of the
Isolated Statisticians Meeting at JSMs
August 13, 2000

Minutes by Andre´ Lubecke.  Dex Whittinghill, Moderator of meeting and Editor of these Minutes.

0) Dex welcomed those in attendance, and everyone introduced themselves.  35 were present at start of meeting (38 total).

1) Moderator’s announcements.

a.  Dex reminded all that the Isolated Statisticians (this group) are different from the new isolated biostatistician group (that is also meeting at JSMs).  That group is for biostatisticians in industry or teaching.

b.  Dex reminded all that the Isolated Statisticians (this group) is an ASA ‘Affiliate Group’, and different from the new Mathematical Association of America’s SIGMAA on Statistics Education.  You must be an MAA member to be in that special interest group.

c. Current Status of MAA Guidelines  (Don Bentley of Pomona C.)
- Some years ago the ASA did not endorse the (first draft of the) guidelines because they didn’t address issues “we” need
- MAA Board of Governors approved the final version which included the statement that "consulting could be a scholarly activity".  The intent was to support individuals and departments in their definitions of scholarly activity.
- Check the MAA website for more information

d. Don announced that there are plans for an ISM group for Northern CA which will concentrate on Two Year colleges.  Moderated by Bentley.

2. Recruiting members for ASA.  John McKenzie, Babson C. and ASA Committee on Membership.

- Goal is to get new members AND retain the existing ones
Question posed:  If we know colleagues/students who would benefit by joining do we encourage their joining?    Stress the benefits of joining.
Question posed: Why don't institutions join?
Responses:
Journals must go to a departmental library and some institutions are too small to have departmental libraries
It is cost prohibitive, especially for departments with only one statistician or for small schools
Lack of knowledge about institutional memberships and the benefits thereof
Perhaps another type of membership needs to be created
Question posed:  What are some benefits that are NOT given by the ASA that would help?
Responses:
"Scholarships" for those beginning their careers that can be applied to membership or travel to ASA meetings
Awards for teachers of statistics at liberal arts schools
Reduced membership fees based on salary
Greater reduction in meeting fees for members

3. Discussion of the Undergraduate Statistics Education Initiative (USEI)

- Almost all present had attended the sessions
- What will be next?
- Revisions of the position papers
- Papers endorsed by the Section of Statistics Education
- Papers endorsed by the Board of Directors
- Market the ideas
- The Stat Ed business meeting Weds night will consider "approving in principle" the position papers before their revisions
- Concern was expressed that this would be too soon, more time should be taken
- Editor’s note:  the ASA Guidelines for undergraduate degrees was ratified on December 2, 2000.  See http://www.amstat.org/education/Curriculum_Guidelines.PDF

4. Should the Isolated Statisticians formalize their existence?

Possible choices:   become an Interest Group (must have at least 25 members who want to study a particular topic);  become a Committee ( has a charge to fulfill, also has a budget and must file an annual report); become an ad-hoc committee (which can be appointed by the President); or  remain rogues.

General consensus seemed to be to remain rogues.
BUT the group needs someone to volunteer to be moderator and perhaps a way to formalize changing the moderator.
Suggestion was made to form a more formal relationship with the Stat Ed section.
Suggestion was made that have a web page would be good. (Mary Parker volunteered to create and maintain it.)

Dex made a request for a new moderator.  He and Jeff offered assistance to the volunteer.  Editor’s note.  No one volunteered then or in the four months since.

Discussion concerns regional meetings of IsoStats:
- Suggestion that a study should be made of what went right and what went wrong since some have been more successful than others
Dex requested information on what happened to the regional meetings IF they have ended.
Dex requested information from successful ones
- Someone asked if there is funding available for regional meetings
- Exxon provided the funding for the original seven meetings in 1996, and thee funds remaining have funded another Great Lakes meeting, another Iowa/Missouri/Illinois meeting, and two Mid-Atlantic meetings.  That money is now gone.
- The New England meeting have met ever since, getting new funds from Exxon and other sources.

5. Old Business and Announcements.

A question was posed as to how to get undergraduates involved in local Chapters

There was discussion concerning the meeting time of the IsoStats:
- avoid session times
- move closer to the Stat Ed meetings/ or move the Stat Ed meetings closer to IsoStats
- comment that early in the conference was good for meeting people who were attending
- suggestion of Sunday afternoon since many arrive Saturday for better airfares
- Dex requested that ideas be e-mailed to him.  Editor’s note:  I have received none that I know of.  If you sent me something last August re-send it.  To paraphrase a statement about democracy, ‘it is a terrible meeting time but it is the best one we have’ (besides Sunday morning?).

Meeting adjourned approximately 8:20pm