ASA Headlines

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 In 2013, she learned a civil fine was revoked.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.

Significance Announces Writing Competition Finalists

Significance Announces Writing Competition Finalists ASA member Samantha Tyner, a graduate student working toward a doctorate in statistics at Iowa State University, is one of three finalists in the Young Statisticians Writing Competition organized by Significance magazine. Tyner and the other finalists—Annie Herbert and James Skeffington—will present papers based on their articles at the Royal Statistical Society's 2015 Annual Conference, which takes place September 7–10. The winning article will be published in the October issue of Significance and online; runners-up also will be published online. Read more.

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.

TAS Looks Back at ASA's 175th Celebration

TAS Looks Back at ASA's 175th Celebration The American Statistician's May issue is devoted to a celebration of the ASA's 175th anniversary. Articles are adapted from anniversary presentations given at the 2014 Joint Statistical Meetings, while others chronicle important events in the history of the profession and the ASA. The 11 papers cover recent and early ASA historical events, predictions for the future, challenges and ways to address them, targeted histories, interviews, and a panel discussion featuring the profession's past and present leaders. The special section will be publicly available online for 60 days after its publication. ASA members get free access to The American Statistician as a membership benefit.

Latest Article Looks at Marijuana

Latest Article Looks at Marijuana Media coverage of a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in which researchers examined THC levels in edible marijuana is assessed in the newest article. Author Rebecca Goldin writes: “The problem is that many journalists seem to have misunderstood a critical distinction between accuracy and precision. And without noting the difficulties of the original lab work, the result was that the news media inadvertently confirmed the lab numbers as being true, even though those lab measurements are, in fact, quite uncertain.”

If you see an article with weak statistical interpretations or a writer who presented statistics properly and should be applauded, share it with

Two Members Among Math and Science Teachers Honored by President Obama

The winners of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching were named last week and include ASA members Shelby Aaberg of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Luke Wilcox of Kentwood, Michigan. The ASA congratulates Aaberg, Wilcox, and the other winners, many of whom also teach statistics.

ASA Unveils Statistics Careers Promotional Toolkit

ASA Unveils Statistics Careers Promotional Toolkit The ASA, through its This is Statistics public awareness campaign, prepared a promotional toolkit that chapters, sections, college statistics departments, and individual association members can use to introduce students at the college and high-school levels to careers in statistics. The toolkit resources can be used at high-school or college career days, department open houses, employer information sessions, or other events at which students gather to learn about fields of study and careers. It is available for download from the This is Statistics website. Click here to view the promotional toolkit. Contact Jeff Myers with questions.

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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