Isostat Minutes 8/7/05


1.      Welcome and Introductions:  Ann Cannon welcomed everyone to the meeting and started the usual round of introductions.  There were 39 people in attendance.

2.      Getting students to take our upper level courses (and what should those courses be?):  John McKenzie introduced this topic.  Several suggestions were made as to how to get students to take our courses.  These included

a.       Attractive names

b.      Mention them in other courses

c.       Use student generated data

d.      Contact previous students

e.       Bring in speakers

f.        Think carefully about how many pre-requisites are really needed (perhaps fewer than it might appear on the surface)

There was also a discussion of what the second course in stat might look like.  Several people described their own stat two courses.  These included

a.       A course the includes transformation of random variables, moment generating functions, more data analysis, history of statistics, and additional topics

b.      A course with a review of simple linear regression, some nonparametrics, ANOVA, some logistic regression, projects and/or a consulting problem

c.       Other courses mentioned were single courses in regression, nonparametrics, ANOVA, experimental design, time series, clinical trials, special topics.

3.      Should our software labs be equivalent to science labs? :  John McKenzie introduced this topic.  Comments made on this topic included

a.       Some people indicated that they get reduced loads because of consulting

b.      Some indicated that they have never gotten extra credit for labs

c.       There was some discussion of the idea that some science classes are going to blended instruction (lab and lecture) and questions were raised about what this was going to do to teaching load.

4.      Should ASA have different membership rates based upon income (similar to MAA)? Should ASA have different institutional rates for colleges and universities?:  John McKenzie is serving his last year on the ASA membership committee and raised these questions.  He announced that he thought there were going to be at least a few new categories of members and this seemed to be met with enthusiasm.  There was concern raised about the lack of K-12 school memberships and memberships for K-12 teachers, for whom membership rates may be formidably large.  There was also a discussion about the issue of institutional memberships requiring a “departmental” library where the journals are sent – which many small schools do not have.

5.      Isostat website (  Joy Jordan asked for input about the website (which she maintains).  Suggestions included:

a.       Create an area to discuss tenure issues

b.      Have a list of outside funding sources

c.       Have a link to the St. Olaf funded project

Note that points a-c have already been taken care of based on discussions at last year’s meeting.

d.      Take out the @ symbol in the email addresses listed on the site

e.       Not have a page with job postings (don’t want to make it an advertisement site).  We will, however add links to other sites with job postings such as the AmStat News site.

6.      Speakers list of isolated statisticians willing to speak at research institutions about our jobs:  Carolyn Cuff reminded us that she is compiling a list of such isolated statisticians.  If you want to be added to the list, please be in touch with her at ccuff at 

7.      Announcements

a.       There is a job opening at Claremont McKenna for an experienced academic statistician.

b.      Robin Lock is still looking for abstracts of projects that have been completed by students as independent studies.

c.       George Cobb announced that the stat consulting section is interested in our success and is thinking about starting a group like ours.

d.      Be in touch with Robin Lock to get your own Stat Geek button (must be a member of the stat ed section.



Respectfully submitted,


Ann Cannon