2008 Joint Statistical Meetings Convene August 3-7 in Denver

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The 2008 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), the world's largest annual gathering of statisticians, will convene this summer in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center August 3-7. The theme for this year's conference is Communicating Statistics: Speaking Out and Reaching Out, and the sessions will include timely discussions of such topics as the electoral process, climate change, clinical trial design, and sports.

The 2008 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), the world's largest annual gathering of statisticians, will convene this summer in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center August 3-7. The theme for this year's conference is Communicating Statistics: Speaking Out and Reaching Out, and the sessions will include timely discussions of such topics as the electoral process, climate change, clinical trial design, and sports.

"JSM brings together our discipline and profession and shows to our members and the public many examples of the presence and impact of statistics in our daily lives," said Peter A. Lachenbruch, ASA's President. "The conference will address issues of national and international concern, including climate change, global warming and statistical applications in medicine and genomics. It will encompass topics in political processes such as ensuring fair elections, the physical sciences, and the social sciences. In particular, preparing for the census will be prominent for the next several years."

Lachenbruch continued, "Statistical applications in manufacturing processes and quality are a common theme in our meetings. In the current economic situation, we will need reliable information from our statistical agencies and sound analytic skills from academia, industry, and government. We are a data-driven society, and the statistics discipline has a proud heritage of using the data to help make sensible decisions in the face of uncertainty."

More than 5,000 statisticians from government, industry and academia traditionally attend the annual JSM, which feature a range of activities, including more than 2,500 presentations, panels, roundtables, poster presentations, continuing education courses, exhibit hall (with state-of-the-art statistical products and opportunities), career placement service, society, section and committee meetings, and social and networking opportunities.

JSM is open to ASA members and non-members and has special pricing for students, seniors, K-12 teachers, and also offers one-day registrations. Early bird registration is available through June 26 at http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2008/index.cfm?fuseaction=registration, where complete registration information and pricing also are available.

A brief history of the ASA annual meetings follows:

  •     The inaugural annual meeting of the newly formed American Statistical Society (as it was briefly called at its establishment in 1839) was held in Boston Feb. 5, 1840. Attendance at the meeting was 10. No presentations had been made at the first annual meeting in February, but one was made at a meeting held in April 1840. Meetings continued to be held in Boston through the early 1900s.
  •     Scheduling meetings outside Boston and in conjunction with other societies was part of an attempt to make the association more national. The 71st annual meeting in 1909 in New York was held in conjunction with nine other associations and featured four presentations over several days.
  •     For two decades afterward, the ASA annual meeting, with one exception, was held annually in December for 2-4 days. The 90th meeting in 1928 had 17 sessions with multiple competing time slots each day. From 1929 through 1948, ASA held 18 meetings. By 1937, there were 38 presentations.
  •     In 1935, ASA combined with several associations, with which it often met, to form the Allied Social Sciences Association. This association's first sponsored meeting, called the Allied Meetings, was held in 1936 in Chicago, and the ASA held its annual meting with this group once every three years until 1974. With the formation of the IMS in 1935 and the International Biometrics Society in 1948, meetings with only statistical societies, called "Joint Meetings," were initiated, and the ASA held its annual meetings with these groups in the years it did not meet with the Allied group. Since 1974, when the Joint Statistical Meetings were formally organized, the ASA has continually held its annual meeting with this group.

JSM is held jointly with the American Statistical Association (ASA), the International Biometric Society (ENAR and WNAR), the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS), and the Statistical Society of Canada. The next several Joint Statistical Meetings are scheduled as follows: 2009, Washington DC; 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia; 2011, Miami Beach; 2012, San Diego; 2013, TBD; and, for the 175th JSM in 2014, the meeting returns to Boston, where it all began.

Complete program and registration information for JSM 2008 are available at the JSM web site at http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2008/.

About the American Statistical Association:
The American Statistical Association (ASA), a scientific and educational society founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. For more than 160 years, ASA has been providing its 18,000 members serving in academia, government, and industry and the public with up-to-date, useful information about statistics. The ASA has a proud tradition of service to statisticians, quantitative scientists, and users of statistics across a wealth of academic areas and applications. For additional information about the American Statistical Association, please visit the association's web site at http://www.amstat.org or call 703.684.1221.

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