ASA Headlines

TAS Special Issue: "Statistics and the Undergraduate Curriculum"

The American Statistician Editorial Team is proud to announce the development of a special issue of TAS focused on issues related to undergraduate programs in statistics and statistical science. The special issue will include a mix of invited papers and papers submitted in response to this call. Although an emphasis will be placed on articles suitable for Teachers Corner and Statistical Computing and Graphics, we also will consider other article types (i.e., Statistical Practice, History Corner, and Interdisciplinary). Read more.

Future of Statistics Healthy with a Mix of Challenges, Opportunities

Statistical science is as healthy as ever, with robust growth in student enrollment, abundant new sources of data, challenging problems to solve and related opportunities to grasp, summarizes a just-released report on the future of the field. Statistics and Science: A Report of the London Workshop on the Future of the Statistical Sciences is the product of a high-level meeting in London last November attended by 100 prominent statisticians from around the world. Read more.

ASA's Kafadar Named to Inaugural Forensic Science Standards Board

ASA Fellow Karen Kafadar, a statistics professor at Indiana University, recently was appointed to the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) jointly by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Department of Justice. The elite panel of experts will identify and foster development and adoption of standards and guidelines for the nation's forensic science community. Kafadar, who will become professor and chair of the department of statistics at the University of Virginia in August, joins 16 other academic researchers and forensic science experts on the FSSB. Read more.

ASA Voices Support for People with Disabilities

The ASA Board of Directors has approved a statement urging the U.S. Senate to ratify a United Nations convention clarifying the rights of persons with disabilities. It was adopted during the board's summer meeting last week. In part, the statement notes, "Through activities of promoting the education of statistics in schools, increasing the public awareness of statistics, and supporting the use of statistics in making sound public policy, the ASA seeks to help make education, employment, and other opportunities available to all people regardless of disability status." Read more.

2014 Class of ASA Fellows Announced

2014 Class of ASA Fellows Announced The ASA recently introduced the 63 members who will be honored as ASA Fellows. Honorees are from 25 states and the District of Columbia and seven countries. "On behalf of the entire membership, I extend heartfelt congratulations to each of the new ASA Fellows," said ASA President Nathaniel Schenker. The fellows will be presented certificates at a ceremony August 5 at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston. Read more.

ASA Delivers Statistics Training to Reporters

Twenty reporters attended the first-ever statistics professional development session at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, DC. The 90-minute event was cosponsored by ASA and the NPC's Journalism Institute. ASA Past President Sallie Keller, Executive Director Ron Wasserstein, and Bloomberg News reporter Michelle Jamrisko discussed the growing relevance of statistics to reporters, advised attendees to dig deeper into survey and research results to get the complete story, and presented key concepts and terms that reporters should know such as margin of error, sample selection method, response rates, precision, and bias. The session was moderated by Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau Chief Todd Gillman. Statistics training at NPC continues June 14 during a Journalism Boot Camp at which ASA member Rebecca Goldin will be an instructor.

New Journal Editors Announced

ASA announced the appointment of new editors for three of its professional journals. All appointments begin January 1, 2015. The two new editors and two co-editors appointed by the ASA's Board of Directors are:

  • Nicole Lazar will serve as the editor of The American Statistician for three years.
  • Daniel McCaffrey and Li Cai will co-edit the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics (JEBS). JEBS is published jointly with the American Education Research Association.
  • Mark Glickman was named editor in chief of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports (JQAS) for a three-year term.

Read more.

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Provision to Make American Community Survey Voluntary

During deliberations on the fiscal year 2015 (FY15) appropriations bill that includes the Department of Commerce (and NSF), the House approved an amendment by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) to make the American Community Survey (ACS) voluntary. Five amendments also were approved to shift $133 million from the U.S. Census Bureau to other parts of the spending bill. The ACS actions echo the 2012 House actions to make the ACS voluntary and then to eliminate it altogether, actions rejected by the U.S. Senate. The House science committee chair, Lamar Smith (R-TX), also succeeded with his amendment to reduce funding for the NSF Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) Sciences Directorate by $15 million (7%). For more information about the Census Bureau developments, see this ASA Community blog entry and this blog entry about NSF budget developments.

IRS Statistics of Income Director Leaving for Other IRS Post

The American Statistical Association thanks Susan Boehmer for her four years of service as the director of IRS Statistics of Income and wishes her well in her next position. Barry Johnson will serve as acting director starting June 2. Eight heads of the 13 principal statistical agencies have been appointed since 2011, and four other agencies have acting directors, as shown in this ASA Community blog entry.

ASA, National Press Club Conducting Journalist Training

The ASA is collaborating with the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, DC to host a statistics training session for journalists on June 4. Titled "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics," the session will show reporters where to find and analyze data, confirm data is valid, identify a good survey or poll, spot invalid statistics, accurately interpret and report statistical results, and find expert statisticians. ASA participants for the panel discussion will be Past-President Sallie Keller and Executive Director Ron Wasserstein. Representing the NPC will be Michelle Jamrisko, a Bloomberg News reporter; an NPC member will moderate the session. Read more.

New GStat Accreditation Unveiled

New GStat Accreditation Unveiled The ASA announced March 24 the launch of a new level to its voluntary, individual statistician accreditation program. Called Graduate Statistician, or GStat, the newly unveiled accreditation is designed for individuals who have attained the education requirements for the Professional Statistician (PStat®) level, but do not yet possess the experience and expertise required for that higher level. Eligibility requirements for GStat include ASA membership, attainment of an advanced degree in statistics-a master's or doctorate-from an accredited university, and adherence to the ASA's Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice. Learn more in this "ASA at 175" blog post or this ASA press release.

Winner of Free ASA Membership

Winner of Monthly Drawing for FREE ASA Membership Congratulations to Peter Heffernan, winner of the May drawing for FREE ASA membership.


Other Recent Headlines

Lievesley Honored by Queen Elizabeth

Denise Lievesley, King's College London professor of statistics and head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy (SSPP), was named by Queen Elizabeth as a Commander of the British Empire for her services to social science. "I'm delighted to receive the award, which is a great tribute to the excellence and influence of social science at King's," she said. An ASA Fellow and former board member, Lievesley is past president of the Royal Statistical Society and International Statistical Institute. She joined King's in 2008 and, during her tenure, the SSPP has grown significantly in student number and staff.

Groves Appointed to National Science Board

President Obama has appointed ASA member and former U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves to the National Science Board, the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and advisor to Congress and the president on science and engineering policy. Groves, who currently is provost at Georgetown University, will serve a six-year term. The board's 24 members, who are drawn primarily from universities and industry and represent a variety of science and engineering disciplines, are selected for their eminence in research, education, or public service. Read the White House press release.

Utts, Santos Elected to Top ASA Posts

ASA members elected Jessica M. Utts, a professor of statistics and chair of the department of statistics at the University of California, Irvine, the association's 111th president. Robert L. Santos, chief methodologist at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, was elected a vice president. Additionally, three new members were elected to the board of directors and new officers were elected for each of the 27 sections. Read the ASA press release. The complete ASA election results are available here.

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