Isostat  Meeting

Salt Lake City

July 29, 2007

7:00 p.m.


Each attendee introduced themselves (there were 33 people in attendance).


Ron Wasserstein, incoming ASA executive Director spoke. He looks forward to collaborating with groups like Isostat. Ron described a change in bylaws that would allow groups like Isostat to be recognized by ASA. It was decided that more information was needed before any decisions were made. Questions were asked as to how being recognized would be beneficial, such as finding meeting rooms and if there would be additional costs for being recognized. Dex W. will contact for further information.


What is appropriate use of the email list. Some consulting questions have been appearing on the Isostat email list and it was questioned whether there should be guideline on what appears on the email list. Jeff Witmer who manages the list stated that the list is not moderated; anyone on the list can submit. General consensus was that the number of emails from this list are fairly small so at this time there is no need to moderate the list. In addition several people stated that consulting is a part of being an isolated statistician and is these questions are appropriate for the list. We concluded to leave the list as is for now.


Encouraging students with AP credit to make more statistics classes. John McKenzie stated that passing AP students removes the students that we really want to target. Jackie Miller stated that she sent a personal letter inviting them to take a second course. She is willing to share her letter if you are interested. Carolyn Cuff maintains a database of these students and is currently collecting data on their AP score, incoming major and outgoing major.. Laura C. states that she gives AP credit for a first statistics course IF they take and pass a second course with a C- or better. Other statements were made such as:

1)      Students take AP courses from colleges and universities instead of high schools

2)      How do we address students with such different backgrounds and levels of quantitative understanding?

3)      What conditions are currently used to assess students entering college? For example, if a student gets a 3 on the AP exam, should they get college credit?



Jackie Miller stated that we should encourage good students to go to graduate school in statistics. Connecting students from liberal arts colleges to an understanding faculty member of a graduate department can make a big difference. Don Bentley stated that there is a cycle of the quality of students and education. The math stat course is one of the few math courses where students are expected to use what they have learned in other courses. Doug Wolfe has a list of R1 faculty that have attempted some connection with liberal arts schools.


John McKenzie stated that there may soon be different journal rates charged to schools based on their size.


John McKenzie stated that he believes Isostat should be more outreach focused. Would having our group recognized by the ASA make a difference? Others asked if the name should be changed to reflect the nature of the group. Faculty focused on undergraduate education at R1 universities and many people in business also fit well into the isostat group. Jackie Dietz stated that becoming recognized would create more visibility for the group. Shonda Kuiper mentioned that it may be best to advertise to math departments in small colleges. People teaching statistics in these departments may not be connected with ASA. Robin Lock suggested that we contribute an article to Focus and Amstat News. Joy Jordan maintains an Isostat web page, could this be linked with the MAA page? Dex W. will talk to Ron W. about becoming recognized with the ASA. Other discussion included cosponsoring a session at the MAA may give us more exposure.


Pat Humphrey mentioned that SIGMASTAT at the MAA meetings in January are having two sessions focusing on statistics education. They are currently calling for proposals focusing on 1) innovative ideas in a first statistics course and 2) integrating technology into a course.


Shonda Kuiper was announced as the new moderator for Isostat.


Respectfully submitted,

Shonda Kuiper