Oct 3, 2012

Meeting Reports

We present reports from three IMS co-sponsored meetings that took place over the summer months:

The 14th IMS Meeting of New Researchers in Statistics and Probability

Ery Arias-Castro reports:

The meeting took place at the University of California, San Diego, over three days (July 26–28) packed with talks and posters by new researchers, talks by more seasoned researchers and various panel discussions.

We actually started on the evening of July 25, with a group hike to the Scripps Coastal Reserve overlooking the ocean at sunset and some drinks at the Porter’s Pub on campus.
Thursday and Friday were filled with presentations (talks and posters) by the new researchers, on various topics spanning statistics and probability at large. On Friday, Yuval Peres gave a talk on the famous hidden clique problem and Jonathan Taylor a talk on convex optimization in statistics. On Saturday, Jason Fine gave a talk on a recent paper of his on survival analysis that involved a complex and lengthy reviewing process, and Bin Yu a talk on spectral clustering in the context of social networks. The Tweedie Award winner, Huixia (Judy) Wang, delivered her Tweedie New Researcher Invited Lecture.

The rest of Saturday was dedicated to panel discussions. Peter Hall and Susan Paddock led the discussion on publishing and article writing. Rob Gould and Jason Schweinsberg discussed the challenge of teaching large statistics classes. Jason Fine, Marina Vanucci and Ruth Williams offered some mentoring advice to the participants. Representatives from various funding agencies—Gabor Szekely and Nandini Kannan (NSF), Floyd “Ben” Cole III (NSA) and Michelle Dunn (NIH), as well as Tim Hesterberg from Google—discussed grant proposal and funding opportunities.

The new researchers comprised 33 women and 32 men. Funding was provided for the most part by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency, with generous support from Microsoft Research and Google.

More details on the meeting, and a group photo, are at http://math.ucsd.edu/​~nrc2012/. Next year’s meeting will be in Montreal: details coming soon!

Tweedie Award winner Huixia Judy Wang (left) receiving her plaque from Past-President Ruth Williams. You can nominate someone to be next year’s Tweedie Lecturer: see page 7.

First Conference of the International Society for NonParametric Statistics (ISNPS)

Dimitris Politis reports:

The First Conference of ISNPS took place in Chalkidiki, Northern Greece, from June 15–19, 2012, with the co-sponsorship of the IMS, the ISI, the Bernoulli Society, as well as the Section for Nonparametric Statistics of ASA. Non-academic sponsors included the publishing houses of Elsevier, Taylor and Francis, and Springer Verlag. A grant from the US National Science Foundation facilitated the travel of US-based participants with particular emphasis on young researcher participation. A volume of the Proceedings of the First Conference of ISNPS is now in preparation, to be published by Springer in early 2014. The program and book of abstracts are available online from the website

The meeting involved over 275 talks including three plenary speakers (Emmanuel Candes, Peter Hall and Jon Wellner), six special invited speakers (Anestis Antoniadis, Laszlo Gyorfi, Bruce Lindsay, Enno Mammen, Peter Robinson, and Ingrid Van Keilegom), and over 200 invited speakers from all over the world. Most, if not all, of the active research areas in current nonparametric statistics were represented, and the atmosphere was vibrant. The natural seaside beauty of the location also contributed to the success of the conference.
ISNPS was founded in May 2010 by three IMS Fellows—Michael Akritas, Soumen Lahiri, and Dimitris Politis—with mission statement: “to foster the research and practice of nonparametric statistics, and to promote the dissemination of new developments in the field via conferences, books and journal publications.” ISNPS has a distinguished Advisory Committee that includes R. Beran, P. Bickel, R. Carroll, D. Cook, P. Hall, R. Johnson, B. Lindsay, E. Parzen, P. Robinson, M. Rosenblatt, G. Roussas, T. SubbaRao, and G. Wahba, as well as a Charting Committee consisting of over 50 prominent researchers from all over the world. The nature of ISNPS is uniquely global, and its international conferences are meant to facilitate the exchange of ideas and latest advances among researchers from all around the world in cooperation with established statistical societies such as the IMS and the ISI.

Participants of the First Conference of ISNPS were in general enthusiastic about the future of ISNPS. A Publications Committee (Jurgen Franke, Peter Hall, and Enno Mammen) has been formed to investigate whether the society would benefit from the creation of a new journal in the field. In addition, it was decided that the Second ISNPS conference will take place in Spain in June 2014. The exact location and more details will soon become available from the Spain 2014 organizers: Ricardo Cao, Wenceslao Gonzales-Manteiga, and Juan Romo, and also from the ISNPS website.

The first meeting of the ISNPS took place in beautiful Chalkidiki, Greece. Photo: http://www.ghotels.gr/en

ISS-2012 on Longitudinal Data Analysis Subject to Measurement Error, Missing Values, and/or Outliers

Brajendra C. Sutradhar, Memorial University, was General Chair and IMS Representative of this ISS-2012 meeting. He reports:

The International Symposium in Statistics (ISS) on Longitudinal Data Analysis Subject to Measurement Error, Missing Values, and/or Outliers took place in Memorial University from July 16 to 18, 2012. This meeting covering three specialized research areas for longitudinal data analysis was attended by 51 delegates from many countries such as Brazil, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Mauritius, USA and Canada, covering almost the entire globe. The meeting was a grand success with an excellent academic program complemented by various social events including a barbeque, the symposium banquet and a local scenic bus tour.

The symposium atmosphere was full of love. The symposium welcome address was given by Dr. Ray Gosine, Associate Vice President Research of Memorial University, followed by a plenary talk given by Professor Brajendra Sutradhar on successes and further challenges in the area of longitudinal data analysis when data are subject to measurement error. Other plenary and special invited talks in this area were delivered by Professors Leonard Stefanski from North Carolina State University, T. J. Wansbeek from University of Groningen, Netherlands, and John Buonaccorsi from University of Massachusetts. The second day of the symposium was devoted to the analysis of longitudinal data subject to non-response. The plenary and special invited talks on this theme were delivered by Professors Brajendra Sutradhar from Memorial University, Paul S. Albert from NICHD, Maryland, USA, Richard J. Cook from University of Waterloo, and Michael Daniels from University of Florida. The symposium on its third day dealt with successes and challenges for analysis of longitudinal data possibly contaminated by outliers. The three main talks of the day were delivered by Professors Brajendra Sutradhar, Memorial University, Julio M. Singer from Brazil, and Elvezio Ronchetti from University of Geneva.

The symposium had another five invited speakers covering these three areas. Also contributed papers were presented by ten speakers including four graduate students. Thus, the goal of the symposium was well reached. Furthermore, it is planned that a selected number of papers presented in the symposium will be published in the near future as lecture notes in the Springer’s lecture note series.

Above: Professor Brajendra Sutradhar (right) introducing Dr. Ray Gosine, Associate Vice President Research, Memorial University.
Below: delegates of the symposium.


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