JSM is in Vancouver: Highlights of the JSM 2018 Program

JSM 2018

The SSC is one of the partner societies organizing the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) and in 2018, JSM will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 29 through August 2.  JSM 2018 promises to be a fantastic meeting! The JSM Program Committee has prepared a wonderful program with a total of 681 sessions, including 4 plenary sessions, 178 invited sessions, 167 topic-contributed sessions, 181 regular contributed sessions, 26 speed sessions, 40 poster contributed sessions and 76 roundtables for a total of 2480 individual paper presentations, 509 speed presentations, 437 individual poster presentations and more than 100 discussants. Although it is too early to tell, the number of submissions indicates that JSM 2018 will be one of the largest JSM meetings ever.

Such a large meeting sometimes discourages potential participants due to its sheer size, with between 41 and 43 parallel sessions in each non-plenary time slot from the first time slot, on Sunday July 29 at 2pm through the last one on Thursday August 2 at 10:30am. The flipside is that every participant is ensured to find exciting sessions in all time slots from Sunday to Thursday! But to take full advantage of what JSM offers, it is important to plan in advance to choose the sessions to attend. Consulting the online program is the best way to select the sessions of interest for each participant as you can construct your own program and eventually use the mobile application to consult it. But to help you plan, I will highlight some particular sessions in the next few paragraphs.

Let me begin with the plenary sessions. The first one is the ASA President’s Invited Address on Monday, July 30 at 4pm. On Tuesday, July 31 at 4pm, the Deming Lecture, Improving the Quality and Value of Statistical Information: Fourteen Questions on Management, will be delivered by John L. Eltinge of the Census Bureau. Tuesday night at 8pm, Lisa LaVange will present the ASA President’s Address. Finally, the COPSS awards will be presented on Wednesday, August 1 at 4pm, followed by the Fisher Lecture by Susan Murphy, Harvard University, on The Future: Stratified Micro-randomized Trials with Applications in Mobile Health.

Sunday night, as you mingle with colleagues and friends during the JSM Opening Mixer, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn about various topics during the Invited Poster Session when 40 electronic posters will be presented along with the vendors in the EXPO. Paul McNicolas, McMaster University, organized this Invited Poster Session and many Canadian researchers are featured.

This year, JSM innovates by presenting a public lecture to raise the profile of statistical sciences in the community hosting the meeting. Jeff Rosenthal, University of Toronto, will deliver the first JSM public lecture entitled Born on Friday the Thirteenth: The Curious World of Probabilities. Held on Monday night, July 30, to accommodate high school math teachers and the general public, its principal audience, the public lecture is also open to JSM attendees who may be interested.

Introductory Overview Lectures are among the most popular sessions at JSM. They are high-quality introductions to timely and important statistical topics of interest to broad JSM attendees. This year JSM will host 6 Introductory Overview Lectures. The first one, Sunday, July 29, 2pm, The Deep Learning Revolution, will explore this Machine Learning tool that has proven to be extremely useful in several applications and has witnessed an absolute explosion of interest. Then, Sunday, July 29, 4pm, Examining What and How We Teach at All Levels: Key Ideas to Ensure the Progress and Relevance of Statistics, will highlight changes in introductory level material as well as both undergraduate and graduate programs in statistics, biostatistics, and data science at a time where demand for our profession continues to grow while the emergence of data science has invigorated both industry and academia. On Monday, July 30, 8:30am, in Leading Data Science: Talent, Strategy, and Impact, data science leaders from major technological firms will demystify real-world data science applications at scale and illustrate how to become an excellent data scientist, how to build a high-impact data science team, how to design data science curriculum and how to lead with statistics. Multivariate Data Modeling with Copulas, Monday, July 30, 10:30am, will describe in simple terms the fundamental principles of copulas and copula models, one of the most powerful and appealing ways of accounting for dependence in multivariate data, and provide concrete illustrations of its use in finance, insurance, biostatistics and environmental sciences. This IOL will be presented by Christian Genest and Johanna G. Nešlehová, both of McGill University. On Tuesday, July 31, 8:30am, Reproducibility, Efficient Workflows, and Rich Environments, will explore the need for reproducibility of results from modern data analysis and how getting the most of rich computing environments can help building efficient workflows, and organize computations to encourage validity, reproducibility, and collaborative sharing. Finally, on Wednesday, August 1, 8:30am, The Statistical and Data Revolution in the Social Sciences, will highlight new statistical methods for three areas of social science where the impact of statistics has been expanding rapidly, spurred by a huge expansion in available social science data, new kinds of social science data, and the establishment of several interdisciplinary centers and institutes in US universities on this interface: demography, social network analysis, and criminology.

Every year, we remember the contributions and personalities of some extraordinary statisticians who died in the recent past through Memorial Sessions. This year, we salute Stephen E. Fienberg (Sunday, July 29, 2pm), Charles Stein (Monday, July 30, 2pm), Ingram Olkin (Tuesday, July 31, 2pm), Alastair Scott (Thursday, August 2, 8:30am) and Joseph Hilbe (Thursday, August 2, 10:30am).

Several journals have invited sessions to highlight some of the best papers that they publish. This year, the following journal have invited sessions scheduled: Journal of Statistics Education (Sunday, July 29, 2pm), JASA Theory and Methods (Monday, July 30, 8:30am), Annals of Applied Statistics (Monday, July 30, 2pm), Technometrics (Tuesday, July 31, 8:30am),  Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics (Tuesday, July 31, 2pm), Statistics Surveys Online Journal (Wednesday, August 1, 8:30am), Statistica Sinica (Wednesday, August 1, 10:30am), JASA Applications and Case Studies (Wednesday, August 1, 2pm), and CHANCE (Thursday, August 2, 8:30am).

The invited, topic-contributed, and regular contributed sessions will cover technical subjects of interest to statisticians from all ASA sections and all organizations who partner to make the great meeting that JSM is. The following topics are well represented in the program: Use of electronic health records, several topics of omics data and genetics, precision medicine, causal inference, evidence based decision making, clinical trials, underutilization of data bases, combining survey and administrative data, networks, high dimensional data, big data and several topics related to data science and machine learning, cross-disciplinary research, applications to climate change, forensics, and several other fields, plus societal topics such as federal research on improving measurement of LGBT populations as well as the impostor syndrome.

The SSC has organized 4 Invited sessions, 1 Topic-Contributed session, and 2 Regular Contributed sessions. The SSC Program Chair was Wenqing He, Western University. The invited sessions are Some New Perspectives and Developments in Biostatistical Research in the Era of Data Science (Monday, July 30, 10:30am), Advances in Dependence Modeling through Copulas (Tuesday, July 31, 8:30am), New Statistical Methods for Lumber Analytics (Wednesday, August 1, 10:30am), and Spatial Statistics when Sampling is Informative (Thursday, August 2, 8:30). Another invited session was organized by the CANSSI: State Space Assessment Models for Complex Fisheries and Biological Data (Sunday, July 29, 2pm).

Here are some other sessions that you may find interesting. The Medallion Lecture IStatistical Inference for Complex Extreme Events, by Anthony Davison (Sunday, July 29, 2pm), The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Future of Statistics and the Public (Sunday, July 29, 4pm), the following three panels entitled Theory vs Practice (Monday, July 30, 10:30am), Addressing Sexual Misconduct in the Statistics Community (Monday, July 30, 2pm), and Statistical Leadership: Insights from experiences of prominent leaders (Tuesday, July 31, 10:30am); Worldwide Statistics Without Borders Projects: Statistics, Data Visualization, and Decision Making (Wednesday, August 1, 8:30 am), the Noether Award with Jianqing Fan and Anirban Bhattacharya and the Sirken Award with Colm O'Muircheartaigh, both sessions on Wednesday, August 1, 10:30am. Are we (academia) producing leaders with necessary statistical skills? (a panel), The State of Peer-Review and Publication in Statistics and the Sciences, and the Medallion Lecture II, Statistical Analysis of Large Tensors, by Ming Yuan, all Wednesday, August 1, 2pm. Theory at the Intersection of Machine Learning and Statistics (Thursday, August 2, 8:30am) and Data Science for Social Good (Thursday, August 2, 10:30).

Up to two Late-Breaking sessions may be added to the program on Monday, July 30, 2pm and Tuesday, July 31, 10:30am (the deadline for the submission of proposals was April 16).

One way to diminish the number of parallel sessions is to encourage researchers to present in a speed session rather than a contributed paper session. Such a presentation is delivered in two parts: a five-minute oral advertisement for the topic in a session with 19 others on a similar theme, followed by a 45-minute electronic poster in the following session. This year we have increased the number of speed sessions from 18 last year to 26 this year. I invite you to consider attending at least one such session. You may like them and consider submitting your research to a speed session next year.

The theme of the meeting is #LeadWithStatistics and as you will discover throughout the program, our field is healthier than ever and full of energetic members ready to lead with statistics. On behalf of the JSM Program Committee, I wish you a wonderful JSM 2018 in Vancouver and we hope that you will learn and enjoy it as much as we did preparing its program!

Christian Léger, JSM 2018 Program Chair

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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