ASA Headlines

U.S. Chief Data Scientist Patil Highlights Statistics

In a recorded message to 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings attendees, U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil said the work of statisticians—including those in federal service—is critical to the country. He urged more multidisciplinary collaboration to meet unique, emerging opportunities such as creating the next generation of health care, yielding more benefit from data for local communities, and developing groundbreaking applications. Patil called statisticians the backbone of how the country has dealt with data for centuries and cited their contributions to innovation. He noted a new opportunity to become increasingly data-driven through greater collaboration among the disciplines comprising data science. View the video.

Argentine Statistician Cleared on Charges of Publishing Alternative Price Indexes

The long ordeal of Graciela Bevacqua and her colleagues with the Argentine government—which included being fired from its National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) division in 2007 and then facing criminal and civil charges in 2011—is nearing an end. She learned this month that a judge ruled in her favor in the criminal trial. In 2013, she learned a civil fine was revoked. One fine remains to be settled. Two of the many news stories in Spanish are here and here. To read more on this story, see this 2012 Amstat News piece and this 2012 Significance article.

Committee Updating GAISE College Report Wants Your Feedback

The Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) College Report, originally endorsed by the ASA in 2005, is being updated. A committee charged with recommending changes is requesting feedback from the statistics community to ensure the updated guidelines reflect broad points of view. To collect feedback, the panel asks interested individuals to complete a short survey, which outlines proposed revisions to the report and enables respondents to share their thoughts, questions, or concerns. View this CAUSE webinar for more information. Also, the committee will present a panel session at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings and anticipates releasing a draft of the revised report by early 2016.

Statistics Views, Wiley Sponsoring Data Visualization Competition

Statistics Views and Wiley are sponsoring the Best Data Visualization Competition in recognition of World Statistics Day 2015. The winner gets the choice of an Apple Sports Watch or $500 in Amazon vouchers. The focus for this year's global celebration is official statistics. For this competition, which closes October 2, entries should present international data from across all the world's continents. Entries will be judged by a panel of representatives from the ASA, Royal Statistical Society, and European Network of Industrial and Business Statistics. Click here for eligibility and submission guidelines. The winner will be announced October 20—World Statistics Day.

Winner of Free ASA Membership

Winner of Monthly Drawing for FREE ASA Membership Congratulations to Adil Khan, winner of the June drawing for FREE ASA membership.


Other Recent Headlines

Ram Gnanadesikan Passes

Ramanathan (Ram) Gnanadesikan, one of the foremost industrial statisticians of the last century, passed away July 6 at his summer home in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. He joined Bell Labs in 1959 and rose to lead its statistics and data analysis research department from 1968 to 1983. Ram joined Bellcore as division manager of information sciences research and, in 1986, he was promoted to assistant vice president of its Information Sciences and Technologies Research Laboratory. In 1991, he was appointed professor of statistics at Rutgers University, where he remained until retiring in 1998. Gnanadesikan served as an ASA Board member, chaired the ASA's fellows and publications committees, and served as president of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and International Association for Statistical Computing. Read more.

ASA Announces 62 New Fellows

Sixty-two ASA members have been bestowed the title of Fellow by the association. Honorees are being recognized for outstanding professional contributions to and leadership in the field of statistical science. "Each newly designated fellow has distinguished him or herself through the advancement of statistical theory, methodology and applications as well as service to the ASA and now rightfully is recognized as a preeminent contributor to the field of statistical science." They will be presented certificates at a ceremony August 11 at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle. Read more.

World Statistics Day 2015 is October 20

During World Statistics Day 2015 on October 20, the global statistical community will showcase its achievements and ongoing work that is helping to better the lives of people around the world. To launch this special event, the United Nations Statistics Division has created a website and released a kick-off video that unveils the celebration's logo. The UN encourages the statistical community to embrace this international observance and showcase its achievements and current work to achieve “Better data. Better lives.”—the celebration's theme. The ASA will participate in the celebration. Follow World Statistics Day on Twitter at #StatsDay15. Learn more.

Significance Devoting October Issue to World Statistics Day

To mark World Statistics Day in October, Significance will devote its October issue to articles that highlight the important contributions statistics is making in different parts of the world. It plans to publish one article from each of the main geographic regions: North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. “We are particularly keen that articles published about the developing world do not fall into the “bad news” trap—that is, focusing only on stories of war, death, disease, poverty, and natural disasters,” says Significance Editor Brian Tarran. Instead, the magazine is seeking tales of interesting work and novel applications of statistics from parts of the planet that are too often overlooked by the media, he adds. Please send article ideas or recommendations for potential contributors to Tarran at

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