Nov 17, 2016

IMS New Researchers Group

In the March 2016 issue, Alexander Volfovsky wrote about the recently formed New Researchers Group (NRG). You can read it at http://bulletin.imstat.org/2016/02/introducing-the-new-researchers-group/. We caught up with the other member of the NRG committee, Dan Sussman, to find out what has been happening more recently.

The New Researchers Group was founded following the 2014 New Researchers Conference, hosted that year by Harvard University. Many of the attendees at the conference were eager to continue the exciting conversations they had there and to foster collaborations and career development for young statisticians. Currently the New Researchers Committee focuses on ensuring the continuance of the New Researchers Conference, the establishment and enhancement of a robust web presence, and fostering new ways for young researchers to meet, collaborate, and share their experience. The committee members are Alexander Volfovsky, Duke University, Department of Statistical Science, and Daniel Sussman, Boston University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

New Researchers Conferences

This year’s IMS New Researchers Conference (formally called the 18th Meeting of New Researchers in Statistics and Probability) was hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison from July 28–30, 2016 (immediately before JSM, as usual). Next year’s will be at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, provisionally July 27-29, 2017—dates to be confirmed soon. The organizers are Elizabeth Ogburn, Department of Biostatistics, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Vince Lyzinski, Department of Applied Math and Statistics, Whiting School of Engineering. We’ll announce the details as soon as we have them.

New website

As part of the IMS New Researchers Group, Dan has been working on the new website. While there is still a lot to do and much of it is still under construction, he says he’s proud to announce its launch to you: http://groups.imstat.org/newresearchers/

Help wanted

The New Researchers Group is looking for a little help from the new researchers themselves. Dan says, “The first and easiest thing you can do is send me your ArXiv info so that you can be included in our ArXiv feed on the front page of the website. To do this follow the directions at https://arxiv.org/help/author_identifiers. You’ll need an Arxiv author identifier in order to get an atom2 feed like this one: https://arxiv.org/a/warner_s_1.atom2. You’ll also want to make sure that you have claimed all of your articles on Arxiv. (You can do this by following the Claim Ownership link here https://arxiv.org/help/authority.) Once you’ve done this please send me your atom2 feed address and your name and I’ll add it to the feed.”

He adds, “We’re looking to start a blog and we ask that as many of you as possible contribute a quick blog post that we can start posting regularly this spring. Your blog post could be about your career experience, collaborations, a summary of your research, or really anything related to statistics, teaching, and your career.”

The New Researchers’ Survival Guide is now part of the NR website. Dan also asks for assistance with this: “We’re looking for help expanding our guide. Currently most of the guide features some relatively old information but we have made a few updates. If you have ideas for how we can improve things we’re happy to hear them. Even better, you can help write part of the guide and we’ll be sure to include your name on the pages you contributed to and proudly display your information on our Contributors page. One idea that I’d like to see implemented is to have a list of Funding Agencies and relevant grants that new researchers can look through. You can also post ideas on each page of the guide at the bottom in our Disqus forum.”

Finally, Dan says, “The New Researchers Group is new, so we’re looking for ideas in general to make this a lasting effort that will provide help for new researchers, whether they are just starting a project as an undergraduate or they are navigating the challenges of a tenure track job. If you have an idea that you think could make this better please let us know. Even better, go write a quick forum post on our Forum so we can start a discussion.”

If you are a new researcher, stay tuned for the announcement of the New Researchers Conference, and get involved with your community of peers! Share your ideas, write a blog piece to help get the blog up and running, and work together to make statistics a great place to be a new researcher.

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