American Statistical Association

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 Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security

About
Committee History

Committee Charge

Type: Current
Authorization:  ASA President, November 1988 (Hogg to Kish, Savage, et. al., Nov. 22, 1988). Name changed January 1989. Name changed August 1991 (Spruill to Bailar, Feb. 14, 1992). Extended through 1994 (BOD Dec. 93-113). Name changed and charge approved in December 1999.
Composition: Nine members serving three year rotating terms.
Charge: To enhance the prestige and influence of the profession and ASA in the DNS area. 
To position ASA and its members to actively address critical statistical DNS issues. 
To determine the viability and utility of establishing an ASA Section on DNS.

 

Operating Procedures

1. Serve as the ASA focal point for contact with other organizations on statistical matters related to DNS.
1.1 Identify pertinent Congressional Committees, Federal Departments and Agencies, etc., and develop appropriate liason relationships.
1.2 Identify and establish mechanisms for actively interacting with other pertinent professional societies, e.g., IEEE Reliability Society, American Association for the Advancement of Scinece (AAAS), Military Operations Research Society.
1.3 To make suggestions to the ASA Board of Directors, Executive Committee and President for needed study or action.
2. Involve statisticians in DNS policy.
2.1 Identify and publicize specific statistical issues and related research areas.
2.2 Develop a directory of statisticians with relevant backgrounds and interests available to consult on critical and time-sensitive issues.
2.3 Identify and publicize opportunities for statisticians to be introduced to DNS issues, including fellowships, conferences, study groups, and boards, etc.
2.4 Establish mechanisms for documenting and disseminating "sucess stories" and "lessons learned" on how statistics has influenced policy-making processes.
3. Pursue dual paradigm of ASA Committee and ASA Section.
3.1 Quantify interest within DNS community for establishing a new ASA Section.
3.2 Define missions for Section and continuing role of Committee, if any.

 

Activities and Plans

2003 Annual Report

  1. Successfully gained ASA Section status: The ASA Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security was approved by the Board and the Council of Sections and officially came into being on January 1, 2004.
  2. Awarded a Third Annual Student paper prize for the best student paper applying statistics to defense issues.  Thomas M. Cioppa, who just completed his doctoral degree at the Naval Postgraduate School, was selected unanimously for his paper, "Advanced Experimental Designs for Department of Defense Analyses: A Military Peace Enforcement Application".  Associate Professor Thomas Lucas nominated the paper.  Papers were judged on the quality of the statistical work, the quality of the written presentation, and the significance of the contribution to understanding of defense issues.  The annual prize competition is open to any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled during the year in any institution of higher education. The paper must have been written in the academic year.   For 2003, the prize consisted of a plaque and $500.
  3. Co-sponsored an invited paper session at the 2003 JSM on "How Can Statisticians Contribute to Homeland Security?" along with the Social Sciences and the Risk Analysis Sections.  This panel discussed statistical issues that arise in counterterrorism efforts and describde activities in various federal statistical programs.  Speakers addressed topics in health, record linkage, biometrics, infrastructure protection and border security, drawing on statistical tools such as discriminant analysis, variable selection, pattern matching, and mathematical epidemiology. The panel examined areas where statisticians can contribute and answered questions from the floor.  Panelists were: David Banks-addressing Bioterrorism; Cynthia Clark-addressing Record Linkage; Alan Karr-addressing Cyberterrorism; Stephen Younger-addressing Infrastructure Protection; and Jack Riley-addressing Statistical Issues in Border Security.
  4. Co-sponsored a conference on Statistical Issues in Counterterrorism at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., on May 29-30, along with the Washington Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association's Sections on Risk Analysis and Government Statistics.  Papers from that conference have been accepted for a special issue of Chance that will appear this January, and we have ordered 500 extra copies.  The new Section will send those extra copies to government officials and other leaders involved in defense and security to help apprise them of the kinds of contributions that statisticians can make.
  5. Continued to improve the committee's website, including rehosting the web site to the ASA and adding a link to reviewers available for defense-related topics.
  6. Developed a list of statisticians with expertise in national security, national defense and related topics to serve as peer reviewers for journal and other publications, proposals, etc.  The first version of the list was posted to our committee and section web sites.


Plans for Next Year:

  1. Support the establishment of the Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security.  Transfer Committee functions to the Section as appropriate.
  2. Continue with the tasks assigned in support of the committee charges, including improving our web page and strengthening/establishing ties with other statisticians/organizations doing statistical research on defense and national security issues.
  3. Sponsor three invited paper sessions at the 2004 JSM: (1) Early Warnings of Bioterrorism: Syndromic Surveillance; (2) Adaptive Sampling Applications in Homeland Security; and (3) Attack Detection, Interdiction, and Response.  Also sponsor one topic contributed session.  These sessions will also be co-sponsored by the Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security.
  4. In collaboration with the Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security, solicit candidates for, and award another prize for, the best student paper applying statistics to defense and national security.



2002 Annual Report
Major issues discussed and /or accomplishments:

  1. Enlisted over 100 ASA members who agreed to become charter members of a new ASA Section on National Defense and Homeland Security and prepared all the associated required paperwork.  The Governing Board will consider our application at their February meeting.
  2. Awarded, for the second year, a prize for the best student paper applying statistics to defense and national security issues.  This year's prize was awarded to joint winners. Yuling Cui and Chung-Wai Kong won for their paper "Predicting Damage by Information Fusion". They are students at George Washington University. They share the award with Donald J. Jenkins, who wrote "Evaluation of Fraud Detection Data Mining used in the Auditing Process of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service." Jenkins is a recent graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School.
  3. Sponsored, along with the Social Sciences Section, a JSM invited paper session entitled "What Can Statisticians Do to Contribute to the War On Terrorism?" The session was excellent, and for the first time so was the attendance. Although this was due in part to Sept. 11, 2001, it was also due to ASA's new emphasis on late breaking sessions and the publicity they provided.
  4. Held a mixer at the ASA for statisticians interested in defense and national security issues. Names gathered from those attending helped the committee enlist ASA members for the new section drive.
  5. Continued to improve the committee's website, including adding facilities for visitors to provide contact information to receive information about Committee activities. Names gathered in this way also helped the committee enlist ASA members for the new section drive.
  6. Nominated Dr. Scott Evans, a committee member, to participate for ASA in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, put on by the Department of Defense for civilian leaders. Those selected will be notified in 2003.
  7. Published an article that was sponsored by the Committee: "Statistics in Defense and National Security: Bioterrorism and Biosurveillance," by Evans, S; Kleinman, K; and Pagano, M; AMSTAT NEWS, July, 2002, pp. 41-43.
  8. The Chair participated, representing the ASA committee, in several workshops seeking to get statisticians more involved in defense and national security issues.  This included: 1) chairing a workshop, sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society on 20 November on Statistical Issues for Counterterrorism in Federal Agencies and 2) attending (and working on the organizing committee for) a workshop, sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory and National Institute of Statistical Sciences, on 12 December on The State of the Statisticial Sciences and the Field's Infrastructure with respect to Today's and Tomorrow's National Defense and Security Challenges. The latter meeting was also attended by a number of other committee members.
  9. Submitted ASA Strategic Initiative Proposal, "STATISTICAL ISSUES IN COUNTERTERRORISM"

 Plans for next year:

  1. Continue with plans to become a section, if that is approved, otherwise continue work as a committee.
  2. Continue with the tasks assigned in support of the committee charges, including improving our web page and strengthening/establishing ties with other statisticians/organizations doing statistical research on defense and national security issues.  Iāve attached our committee taskings for information.
  3. Sponsoring, along with the Social Sciences Section and the Risk Analysis Section, an invited paper session at the 2003 JSM on "How Can Statisticians Contribute to Homeland Security?"
  4. Solicit candidates for, and award another prize for, a student paper applying statistics to defense and national security.
  5. Work to get another statistician nominated for the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, put on by the Department of Defense for civilian leaders.


Taskings:

  1. Committee Business (Lead: Spruill)
    • '03 JSM committee meeting planning and preps: Spruill
    • Section planning and preparation
      • Draft section charter: Wilson and Banks (complete)
      • Compilation of list of potential members: Wilson, Banks, and Fricker (complete)
      • Submission of request to become a section: Spruill
      • Solicitation of other interested members: All
    • DNS website
      • Maintenance and update: Wilson
      • Compilation of success stories on use of statistics in defense and national security problems to post on website: Wilson, Scholz
    • Document committee history: Spruill, Easterling
    • Review committee charge: All
  2. Internal ASA Outreach (Lead: Fricker)
    • '03 JSM invited paper session on homeland security
      • Organization and submission: Spruill (complete)
      • Session chair: Spruill and/or Fricker
    • AMSTAT News
      • Write and submit articles/announcements: Anderson
      • Suggestion of ideas: All
    • Student paper competition
      • Management: Olwell
      • Judging committee: TBD
      • Advertising and outreach for students: Olwell, Fricker
    • Committee ASA liaison: Gage
  3. External Outreach (Lead: Olwell)
    • Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC)
      • Management: Spruill, Fricker (complete)
      • Nomination inputs: All (complete)
    • Educating DoD/HLS customers
      • Communicating how statisticians can contribute to solving DoD/HLS problems:  Olwell, Evans, Banks, Scholz
      • Proposing an advisory group of statisticians similar to groups at Census, Energy Dept., etc: Olwell, Evans, Banks
  4. Other Issues/Topics (Lead: Ray)
    • Computer security, information assurance, IT: Ray, Samuelson, Easterling


Minutes of 2002 Joint Statistical Meetings Committee on Statisticians in Defense and National Security Meeting
August 13, 2002, New York, NY

Attendees: Nancy Spruill, Chair;  Ron Fricker, Vice-Chair;  Committee Members: Scott Evans, Dave Olwell, Bonnie Ray, and David Steinberg; Visitors: Glen Hartless, David Banks, Mark Seastrom

The attendees discussed the following:
 

  1. Mixer the evening of 13 August-Ron talked about his plans and that all were invited.  The mixer was well organized, we presented the student paper prizes, and we did a drawing for several door prizes-a picture of the Pentagon and several defense research books.  (As a follow-up, Ron did a great job organizing the mixer and Dave Olwell did similar excellent work in having the prizes ready to go.)  Ron will be sending out more since we got additional names of interested statisticians-those who attended filled out information for the drawing for the door prizes.
  2. Need a POC for AMSTAT NEWS-Nancy nominated Dale Anderson, since he asked for a tasking-all agreed to him taking that job.  This job is to keep our activities in front of the AMSTAT NEWS readers. So everyone should remember to include Dale on what you are doing.
  3. Web site for cmte.-Nancy and others discussed the need to continue to improve our site and to continue its role in getting more statisticians involved through that site.  All felt we had done a lot of good work here and supported Ron and Alyson continuing this activity.  All also supported the cmte.'s outreach work, including the excellent article by Scott Evans in AMSTAT NEWS.  The cmte. members saw these two tasks as linked as our web site is an important outreach tool.
  4. Cmte. budget/need for Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) nominee for 2003-Nancy noted that she believed our cmte. budget had been approved (since confirmed-actually we asked for $3,450 and got $3,500).  As part of the budget we will again try to get a statistician nominated to the JCOC activity.  John Rolph was our nominee last year (he was an alternate but was not called) and we could nominate him again.  We could also nominate some other statistician, and Nancy asked for ideas.  If you have someone to nominate, please talk w/them to make sure they would take this on, since it involves a week of travel throughout the country and, although ASA would pay the JCOC fee of about $2000, the person would have to take the week off and get themselves to and from Wash., D.C. to begin/end the week.  In any case, Nancy needs proposed other nominees by mid-September.
  5. 2002 Invited Session report.  All reported that it went very well and Nancy, as chair of the session, reported excellent presentations/discussion and a good turnout (about 350 attendees).  She noted our cmte's appreciation that ASA asked our cmte. to organize this session.  ASA also did an excellent job advertising these late breaking sessions, which Nancy believes was important in the good turnout.
  6. Feedback from Cmte. chairs mtg.  Nancy reported that one of the interesting things she learned at the cmte. chairs mtg. was potential, additional uses of  ASA's web site.  Everyone should wander around the members-only part of our cmte.'s web site on the ASA site.  For example, Nancy will post these notes there but will also get them out by e-mail.  (If you don't have a password for the members-only part of the ASA site, send an e-mail to Steve Porzio at Steve@amstat.org.)
  7. Homeland Security (HLS).  The cmte. discussed that we should pick up the HLS tasking for ASA, since our cmte. is Statisticians in Defense and National Security.  There was also discussion that the risk folks in ASA were working HLS and maybe we could team w/them.  Further there was discussion that a good invited session for next year would be one on HLS--similar to our War on Terrorism session this year.  No one volunteered to take this tasking on and Nancy is looking for a volunteer to lead the cmte.'s activities in this area.
  8. Prize paper-Dave Olwell discussed that the Prize this year would be split between two papers and he will continue this activity for 2003.  The cmte. also discussed ways to get the word out w/Ron saying he will work w/MORS (the Military Operations Research Society) and others having ideas, such as working w/Ron Brookmeyer, Beth Holleran, statistics faculty and others.  Please send any ideas you have to Dave O. or work w/him on them.
  9. Dave Olwell raised the issue of the need for our cmte. to take on educating our customer-defense and national security folks-about what statisticians can contribute to their jobs.  At the invited session it was mentioned afterward that we might want to set up an advisory group of statisticians to advise DoD, similar to groups that advise the Census Bureau, and the Energy Dept.  I believe Dave O. said he would take the lead on this and Nancy volunteered to work it too.
  10. Linda Gage, our cmte.'s ASA liaison, saw me at our cmte.'s mixer and apologized for missing our cmte. mtg.  She is very interested in our work. We were glad so many of our members could attend the cmte. mtg. and welcomed our visitors.  Please note Bonnie Ray has a new e-mail-since she has a new job.


Taskings for FY2003

  • JCOC proposed nominees to Nancy-All-by mid September.
  • Web site work/soliciting interested statisticians/outreach-Ron Fricker, Alyson Wilson and Scott Evans.
  • Cmte. POC for AMSTAT NEWS-Dale Anderson
  • Student paper prize-Dave Olwell
  • Computer security, information assurance-Bonnie Ray  (Would anyone else like to sign on to this?)
  • Lead the cmte. on addressing Homeland Security issues and possibly lead an ASA invited paper session on the issue for 2003.  (Any volunteers?)
  • Educating our customer-Nancy Spruill and Dave Olwell.  (Scott, you could help a lot here too. Would you like to join us on this?)
  • Review Committee Charge-All--and send Nancy and Ron any additional tasks you would like to take the lead on.  I'd especially like someone-maybe Rob Easterling or Fritz Scholz to take on the success stories/lessons learned tasks-with postings to our web site.  Our four major charges are:
    • Serve as the ASA focal point for contact with other organizations on statistical matters related to Defense and National Security (DNS).
    • Involve statisticians in DNS policy work, (including "success stories" and "lessons learned" on how statistics has influenced policy-making processes).
    • Pursue dual paradigm of ASA Committee and ASA Section
    • Document Cmte. History-Nancy promises to do this last one, even if it is after I rotate off the cmte.  I'm the one who knows the most about the history.


2003 Budget

  1. $300 working breakfast or lunch for Committee meeting at 2003 JSM.
  2. 550 for prize/cash award and plaque for "best student paper on defense and national security topics"--we awarded our first prize for such a paper with our 2001 funds, at last year's Joint Statistical Meetings and use our 2002 budget funds to award a 2002 prize at the upcoming meetings.  The committee has a process for soliciting and reviewing papers.
  3. $400 for web site support--consisting of $250 for hosting and the remaining for updating software/web spinner support.  We have used our FY 2001/FY 2002 funds to set up and begin using such a web site(www.statdns.org).
  4. $200 for committee support such as conference calls, postage to do outreach for interested statisticians, etc.
  5. $2000 for either

a.  Participation in the Secretary of Defense's Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. (We will try again this year to get a statistician selected.  Our nominee for 2002, John Rolph, was on the alternative list this year but because of the increased interest in the military as a result of September 11, there were not enough cancellations for him to be included.  Again this August, we will submit a nominee to the Secretary of Defense's calls for nominations.  The Department is looking for regional and national opinion leaders to participate in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference the following Spring.  Nominations must be by senior Department officials and I worked several years ago to get Dr. Joe Hilbe, ASA member, nominated.  He attended and an article describing his participation and the value he saw from his participation appears in the February 2001 AMSTAT NEWS. The conference provides valuable insights about the strengths and readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces to participants.  It would be an excellent way to increase the link between statisticians and the defense community and to develop relationships that would allow statisticians to be called upon to serve on defense advisory boards, such as the Defense Science Board and the Services' Science Boards.  Only 60 nominees are selected and participants, or their company or other sponsor, are expected to pay their expenses for the conference, which was about $2000 for the last conference. The call memorandum for the FY 2003 conference is expected in August 2002.

b.  Outreach, such as Hosting a Mixer for Statisticians in Defense and National Security at ASA 2003.

The competition for the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference is stiff but I have two Under Secretaries of Defense and the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation who are willing to nominate an ASA member.  If our nominee is not selected, however, we would instead use these $s to increase our outreach to statisticians in defense and national security and to host, at the 2003 Joint Statistical Meetings, a get-acquainted mixer for ASA members involved/interested in National Defense and Security issues.  We are doing this with our funds at the 2002 Annual Meetings and believe it will be very successful.  We will reach out to ASA members in both government and industry and encourage them to become involved, and get other statisticians involved, in defense issues.  We will work w/industry--firms like Lockheed Martin and Boeing--to get them to also attend and have available literature on issues important to defense for ASA members to see.  We would also try to get some government, defense folks who hire statisticians to attend and share what issues statisticians can help address.
 
 

2001 ACTIVITIES

  • Established an expanded cmte. web site, which is linked to the cmte.'s ASA web-site. This site can be accessed directly at http://www.statdns.org/start.html. It contains links to other defense sites-such as the Department of Defense's DefenseLink and allows other interested statisticians to add their name/info to the list of statisticians interested in defense and national security or to advertise upcoming conferences, etc.
  • Established a prize for the best student paper applying statistics to defense and national security issues and awarded the 1st such annual prize. Award (plaque and $500) went to Major John W. Leffers, who was a student at Fort Leavenworth. His paper was an unclassified summary of his thesis written last year at the Naval Postgraduate School--Statistical Validation of Track Quality Numbers for Joint Interoperability Testing of Theater Air and Missile Defense Families of Systems.
  • Sponsored a JSM session on Anthrax and Other Vaccines: Just the Stats. The session was excellent, although attendance was limited due to it being on Sunday, 5 August, at 4 p.m.
  • Worked w/Dr. Joe Hilbe, who had attended the Department of Defense's Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC)-a week long conference for senior civilian leaders to learn more about the Department of Defense--, to get an article on his experiences in AMSTAT News (Feb. 2001). The cmte. has worked w/the Department of Defense to get Dr. John Rolph nominated to the next JCOC. He is currently on the 2002 waiting list and will likely be able to attend. (The cost of this conference is being funded from our cmte.'s budget.)
  • Worked w/the Department of Defense on their Workshop (at the National Academy of Sciences) on Statistical Methods in Software Engineering for Defense Systems, held 19-20 July, 2001.

2000 ACTIVITIES

  • Identified and assigned specific committee member taskings consistent with our recently approved charges.
  • Obtained limited ASA funding supporting two specific taskings--establishing linkages between interested statisticians and individuals in the defensd and national security communities and a student paper prize fund.
  • Discussed planning details for a 2001 JSM invited session focusing n DOD issues concerning anthrax and related topics.
  • Discussed possibilities for various contributed sessions at the 2001 JSM, with responsibilities relegated to any interested individuals.
  • Discussed various approaches to modernizing our dedicated committee web page.
  • Finalized conversion to a 3-3-3 annual rotation of committee members.
  • Discussed possible letters to the National Research Council, from our committee and/or ASA elements, concerning an issue of publication integrity.

1999 ACTIVITIES

  • Rewrote draft charge (numerous times), coordinated drafts with various Board members, and obtained formal ASA Board approval.
  • Sponsored 2 successful sessions at 1999 JSM, but no plans for 2000.
  • Updated and discussed possible upgrades to Committee homepage.
  • Nominated and secured position for Joe Hilbe (Arizona State) to participate in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (aimed at introducing the civilian sector to the U.S. Defense Department).
  • Discussed possible means for enhancing exchanges between statisticians and the security communities.
  • Discussed possible nominees for future Committee membership.
  • Formally supported AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) resolution entitled "The Universality of Science and Freedom in the Conduct of Science."

1998 ACTIVITIES
 

  • The Committee identified and recruited speakers for the session "Physics Plus Statistics: Military Applications," at the 1998 Spring Research Conference on Statistics in Industry and Technology. This conference, co-sponsored by ASA/SPES and IMS, was held 3-5 June 1998, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Speakers Bill McDonald, Naval Surface Warfare Center, and David Spalding, Institute for Defense Analyses, presented papers pertaining to the interface of statistics with computer models of complex physical phenomena, such as weapon effects on targets. Committee member Rob Easterling organized the session and served as a discussant, and Ray Waller, Executive Director of ASA chaired the session.
  • The Committee organized and co-sponsored two invited sessions of the JSM in Dallas: the widely attended and acclaimed General Methodology session on "Statistical Investigation of Gulf War Syndrome" (organized by Don Gaver), and the session on "Assessment of Drug Interdiction Activities" (organized by Art Fries and co-sponsored by the Business & Economics Statistics Section).
  • Regard the 1999 JSM in Baltimore, the Committee has already secured an invited session and one (or possibly two) contributed paper sessions"all co-sponsored by the Section on Physical and Engineering Sciences. The invited session, "Statistical Science in Defense"Star Wars, Testing Weapons Systems, Getting to the Bottom of the Gulf War Syndrome, and Describing What We Get for $250B," was organized by Nancy Spruill. The contributed session(s), dealing with various security topics, was organized by Art Fries. For further information on any of these sessions, please contact the respective organizer or, once the information is finalized, visit the appropriate location within the ASA WWW site.
  • The Committee (primarily Nancy Spruill) again supported and facilitated the formal nomination of Joe Hilbe from Arizona State to join this year,s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC), run by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Hilbe was selected for participation and will attend the JCOC sessions, from 24 April to 2 May. [For additional information on the JCOC (and the Defense Science Study Group for recent Ph.D.,s), please see the Committee article in the March 1997 issue of AMSTAT News, or contact Art Fries.]
  • With the assistance of computer-literate colleagues at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), Art Fries developed the Committee homepage and linked it to the appropriate ASA site. Suggestions for possible improvements to the Committee homepage are welcome and should be forwarded to Art Fries.
  • Several Committee members reviewed the National Research Council (NRC) Report on testing in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), "Statistics, Testing, and Defense Acquisition New Approaches and Methodological Improvements." There was general agreement with the reports findings and conclusions, but there did not seem to be any apparent vehicle for the Committee, either collectively or individually, to attempt to facilitate the implementation of specific report recommendations.
  • Several Committee members reviewed recent DoD acquisition reform proposals, especially initiatives to limit, short circuit or eliminate operational testing requirements. Given the current prevalent attitudes to these proposals, however, it was determined that no Committee actions, at either the collective or individual levels, would be necessary.
  • Several Committee members reviewed a recently instituted U.S. Air Force policy dealing with sample sizes for annual testing of strategic missile systems. Although there was general concern regarding the statistical validity of the methodology underlying the policy, it remained unclear as to what could or should be done about it. Attempts to incorporate this issue into the NRC study of DoD testing (see above) were unsuccessful. Art Fries solicited internal research funding from IDA to convene a panel of statistical experts to study the matter, but the request was denied. Since that time, however, Art Fries (possibly to be joined by other Committee members) has been asked by the editors of an upcoming Handbook of Statistics on Reliability volume to provide two review papers, one that could deal with aspects of the missile testing problem.
  • Committee members engaged in a series of productive discussions with Carol Redmond from the ASA Committee on Committees, dealing with the future of our Committee. One product of these exchanges is the draft Committee Charge displayed at the beginning of this homepage. The draft is currently under review by the Committee on Committees.
  • Rob Easterling, in his role as member at the ASA Committee on Fellows, solicited from our Committee membership names of prospective candidates for ASA Fellows. Recognizing that statisticians in DoD are few and far apart, this call for candidates is consistent with the Committee on Fellows current initiative to identify qualified "isolated" statisticians who are not being nominated. Our Committee membership provided useful feedback, and appropriate nomination activities were initiated.


1997 ACTIVITIES
 

  • The Committee sponsored two sessions at the 1997 JSM in Anaheim: the invited papers session "Testing Defense Systems: Can Statistics Help?," and the special contributed papers session on "Topics in National & International Security." Formally submitted papers appeared in the ASA 1997 Proceedings of the Section on Government Statistics and Section on Social Statistics.
  • The Committee secured two invited paper sessions for the 1998 JSM in Dallas, dealing with Gulf War Syndrome and with Drug Interdiction Analyses.
  • In response to an AMSTAT NEWS article (March 1997) describing the Committee, several statisticians expressed interest in participating in this year,s Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) run by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). Because of schedule conflicts, however, the number who could apply was reduced to one Joe Hilbe from Arizona State. Committee members (most of the work done by Nancy Spruill) facilitated this process and two high-level offices within OSD formally nominated Dr. Hilbe for JCOC participation. Although he ultimately was not selected (very few are on their first attempt!), Dr. Hilbe indicated he would try again next year.
  • The AMSTAT NEWS article also outlined opportunities for statisticians to participate in the Defense Science Study Group (DSSG) organized by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). The DSSG initiative introduces leading young (i.e., recent Ph.D.,s) scientists and engineers to national security issues and the defense community. Each DSSG class participates in a series of technical interchanges that span a two-year period, including visits to military installations, laboratories and industrial facilities, and seminars by key defense officials. Numerous past DSSG members now routinely serve on Defense Science Boards or otherwise actively interact with defense organizations. Regrettably, no statisticians expressed any interest in being nominated to the DSSG.
  • Don Gaver and Art Fries participated in a telephone conference with members from the ASA Committee on Committees. Discussions focused on what our Committee had contributed to date, and whether there should be some movement to convert to a Section. It appears that, at least for the near-term, the Committee structure will be retained.
  • Mike Cohen explored the possibility of ASA assisting us in creating a WWW homepage for the Committee, including a direct two-way link to the existing ASA site. Apparently ASA can establish such linkage, but can neither create nor maintain a committee history.
 
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