ASA Urges 'Funding Anomaly' for Decennial Census Testing
With Congress working on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the start of fiscal year 2015 (FY15) at FY14 levels, the ASA joined scores of organizations to urge a "funding anomaly" for the U.S. Census Bureau to carry out important testing for the 2020 Decennial Census. The administration's requested FY15 budget for the Census Bureau is 25% greater than the FY14 budget because of the ramp-up to the decennial census, making CRs problematic. Click here to see the letter and here to monitor the FY15 appropriations developments for all the principal federal statistical agencies.
Kannan Named NSF Program Director
ASA fellow Nandini Kannan recently was named a Statistics Program director of the National Science Foundation's Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS), announced DMS Director Michael Vogelius. Prior to joining DMS full-time, Kannan was a professor of statistics at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). She brings significant administrative experience to her new position, having served as a department chair at UTSA and as president of the International Indian Statistical Association. Previously, she was a DMS "rotating" Statistics Program director from 2011 to 2013.
Terry Speed Awarded Australia's Eureka Prize
Terry Speed, an ASA member and leader of the bioinformatics division of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, was awarded one of that country's top science prizes. He was presented the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation-sponsored (CSIRO) Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science on September 10 for his superb leadership of the bioinformatics team at the Hall Institute and his other contributions to the science of bioinformatics. The Australian Museum presents the Eureka awards, and CSIRO is Australia's national science agency. Read more.
Call for Papers: Technometrics
The deadline for submitting papers for the Technometrics' special issue on Statistical Analysis of Big Data is November 1, 2014. For more information, see
ASA Advocates Multidisciplinary Approach to Big Data Research
In a white paper, the ASA recommends a multidisciplinary approach comprised of statisticians, mathematicians, data scientists and relevant domain scientists to tackle the challenges of the federal government's Big Data Research and Development Initiative and similar private-sector projects. Discovery with Data: Leveraging Statistics with Computer Science to Transform Science and Society is targeted to anyone working in Big Data research in the private sector, academia and government. It was written by a dozen ASA members with expertise in Big Data. Read the ASA release.
Three ASA Members Appointed to NIST Forensic Science Reform Committees
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has appointed ASA members Hal Stern of the University of California, Irvine, Bruce Weir of the University of Washington, and William Guthrie of NIST to Scientific Area Committees (SAC). Stern was named to the physics/pattern group, Weir to the biology/DNA panel, and Guthrie to the chemistry/instrumental analysis committee. These NIST-administered committees provide the critical bridge between the Forensic Science Standards Board and the 23 discipline-specific subcommittees working to strengthen forensic science through the identification and development of new standards and guidelines.
ASA PR Campaign Launched
The ASA public relations campaign—designed to increase interest in the field of statistics and recruit the next generation of statisticians—has launched. The "This is Statistics" campaign will educate students, parents, teachers, and counselors about the abundant and well-paying career opportunities in statistics. The informational website features videos of "cool" statisticians doing interesting work, career and salary information, sectors that employ statisticians, and an interactive map of select organizations across the world at which statisticians work. We encourage ASA members to share the website link with friends and colleagues, follow the latest news on Twitter, find additional information on Facebook, and view campaign videos on YouTube. The more we spread the word, the more we can correct the frustrating misconceptions about statistics. Contact Jeff Myers with your questions or comments.
Science Magazine Appoints Statistical Review Board
Science magazine has appointed a new statistical board of reviewing editors (SBoRE)–composed of prominent members of the statistical community–that will help address reproducibility issues and improve the statistical rigor of papers the magazine publishes. SBoRE members will review the data analysis in papers selected for publishing and recommend whether the analysis warrants further scrutiny by a statistical expert in the given field. If so, SBoRE members will recommend one or more independent expert reviewers and provide a summary of the statistical issues that warrant a closer examination. Read this Amstat News article.
ASA White Papers Explain Statistics Impact on National Research Priorities
The ASA has released three white papers detailing how statisticians and statistical science are vital to advancing three federal scientific research priorities: the Big Data Research and Development Initiative, BRAIN Initiative and climate change. Primary audiences for the papers are the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies involved in these research priorities. "The white papers detail how statisticians are vital partners in advancing science with their expertise in experimental design, inference and uncertainty quantification," said Science Policy Director Steve Pierson. Read more at this Amstat News piece or the ASA press release.
Winner of Free ASA Membership
Congratulations to Melanie Bell, winner of the August drawing for FREE ASA membership.
Other Recent Headlines
Students: Present Your Poster at the World's Largest Science Meeting
You could be selected to present a poster at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) annual meeting. Full-time undergraduate and graduate students, including doctoral candidates, are eligible for this student poster competition. This is a great opportunity to showcase statistical research and its key roles in interdisciplinary science and public policy. If your poster is selected, you will attend a fascinating meeting that covers a broad range of scientific disciplines and related policy issues. Also, your registration fee can be waived if you serve as a meeting session aide. Limited travel funds may be available. Learn more.
AAPOR Releases Report on Survey Refusals
In response to the steady decrease in the public's participation in surveys over the past 25 years, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has released a study called Current Knowledge and Considerations Regarding Survey Refusals. It is a comprehensive report on current knowledge about refusals in survey research-the impact, techniques to minimize refusals, and ethical considerations for the rights of respondents with regard to survey refusals. The report is a resource for survey researchers, institutional review boards, consumers of research, journalists, and the public. Read the report.
TAS Special Issue: Statistics and the Undergraduate Curriculum
The American Statistician editorial team announces the development of a special issue of TAS focused on issues related to undergraduate programs in statistics and statistical science. The issue will include a mix of invited and submitted papers. Although an emphasis will be placed on articles suitable for Teachers Corner and Statistical Computing and Graphics, the team also will consider articles for Statistical Practice, History Corner, and Interdisciplinary. Read more.
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Statisticians in the News
- Statisticians Return to Boston, Where Discipline Took Shape 175 Years Ago
- American Statistical Association JSM Attendees in Boston
- Statisticians Launch Effort to Highlight Little-Known STEM Career
- ASA Member Hassad Talks with Media about Ebola Outbreak
(Go 35-minute mark to see interview)
- The Case for Starting Statistics Education in Kindergarten
- How Statisticians Found Air France Flight 447
- Understanding the World of Statistics
- Duke Statistics Professor Testifies in Racial Profiling Case
- Young Statisticians Make Mark at Int'l Biometric Conference
- Mallinckrodt Continues Statistical Success
Second Bayesian Young Statisticians Meeting 2014
Myrto Lefkopoulou Distinguished Lecture
Workshop on Statistical Inference for Lévy Processes
The IAFOR North American Conference on Business and Public Policy 2014
Providence, Rhode Island