NISS Recap from JSM 2023

NISS Writing Workshop and Graduate Student Network Unite for Productive Meetup at JSM 2023

The synergy of the NISS Writing Workshop for Junior Researchers and the NISS Graduate Student Network culminated in an engaging meetup held during the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Toronto. The meetup took place the morning of Sunday, August 6th and provided attendees with a unique opportunity to expand their professional networks. With a blend of students and seasoned professionals in attendance, the event seamlessly fostered the exchange of information, insights, and aspirations. Participants eagerly embraced the chance to meet new faces, with conversations flowing freely and connections taking root. 

At the heart of the event were the esteemed guest speakers, who added exceptional value to the networking session. The panel titled "Speaking from Experiences and Career Development" featured renowned figures in the statistical arena. Ali Shojaie from the University of Washington, Edsel Pena from the NSF, Piaomu Liu from Bentley University, and Yanling Zuo from Minitab came together to share their insights on effective communication of statistical research. Guiding the discussion was moderator James Rosenberger from NISS/PSU, who skillfully steered the conversation towards valuable takeaways for the attendees.

The meetup not only served as a hub for expanding networks but also provided a space for professional growth. Interacting with experts and experienced professionals facilitated the acquisition of industry-specific knowledge and insights. Attendees were able to glean practical advice and guidance, enhancing their understanding of their respective career paths. The diverse backgrounds and expertise of the participants paved the way for future joint endeavors that promise to push the boundaries of statistical science.

The NISS Writing Workshop for Junior Researchers and the NISS Graduate Student Network succeeded in creating a vibrant environment that fostered networking, learning, and growth, making their meetup at JSM 2023 a resounding success. Connecting with fellow attendees from the writing workshop and graduate student network offered participants access to peers and mentors who readily shared their expertise. Aspiring researchers and junior professionals found a platform where they could seek guidance on research, writing, and professional matters, further enriching their learning journey.

The NISS Affiliate Luncheon

The NISS Affiliate Luncheon took place from 12-2pm at the InterContinental Toronto Centre in the Oakville Room. This exclusive event brought together esteemed statisticians, researchers, and professionals in a relaxed and interactive setting. During this luncheon, participants had the opportunity to network with fellow affiliates and discuss cutting-edge statistical methodologies, research findings, and industry trends.This year, we focused on activities in which our affiliates are involved, particularly those that highlight the cross-disciplinary nature of the challenges or the benefits derived from the synergy of statisticians from industry, government institutions, and academia. 

We commenced with the Buffett Lunch Service, creating an atmosphere of conviviality. David S. Matteson, our new Director at NISS, took the stage to extend a warm welcome, initiating the proceedings with introductions and an exploration of innovative new initiatives. This segued into a lively open discussion with our affiliates, where ideas flowed freely and connections were forged. Afterwards, the NISS Annual Awards Announcement took place where the distinguished Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research was presented to Bhramar Mukherjee (University of Michigan), the NISS Distinguished Alumni Award presented to Murali Huran (The Pennsylvania State University) and the NISS Distinguished Service Award presented to Lingzhou Xue (The Pennsylvania State University) were unveiled, shining a spotlight on exemplary achievements and dedication within the NISS community. A glance at the NISS Program Highlights followed, showcasing the vitality of the Ingram Olkin Forums, the growth and achievements of our Graduate Student Network, the impactful contributions of Research Associates of NISS-NCES and NISS-NASS. 

See Full Slideshow for the NISS Affiliate Luncheon

Jerry Sacks Memorial Session at JSM 2023

The Jerry Sacks Memorial Session at JSM 2023 was chaired by James Rosenberger (Penn State University and NISS) and organizerd by Lingzhou Xue & James Rosenberger (Pennsylvania State University and NISS). Alan Karr (AFK Analytics, LLC) presented "Jerry Sacks and NISS" where he highlighted the ups and downs of the early years of NISS when Alan spent eight years as Associate Director under Jerry and 14 years as Director. Alan also focused on Jerry's and NISS' scientific heritage, both in terms of specifics and in making cross-disciplinary research commonplace in statistics. Alan's presentation included many photographs, not only of Jerry, but also others who helped put NISS on the path that has enabled it to thrive for more than 30 years.

William Welch (University of British Columbia) presented "Jerry Sacks and the Birth of Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments" where he portrayed Jerry's central role in the creation of a new, and eventually enormous, field of research and application: the Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments (DACE). Various papers Jerry had co-authored established a methodology for analysis of computer experiments which is still ubiquitous today and the basis for efficient statistical design of computer experiments. His talk also recounted some of the story of how Jerry developed and adapted statistical tools for the scientific revolution where physical experiments are complemented or supplanted by computer models of complex systems. 

Piyushimita ‘Vonu’ Thakuriah (Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey) presented "Remembering the Life and Work of Jerry Sacks as a NISS Postdoctoral Researcher" and provided an overview of the contributions made by Jerry Sacks in the early stages of his postdoctoral fellowship program, as seen through the lens of an NSF-funded infrastructure project. This interdisciplinary project involved a number of research centers from across the US. This talk covered some of the project's key research questions, many of which were shaped by Jerry, its connections to later work, and the collaborative atmosphere and social environment that Jerry fostered as part of the working life at the institute. 

James Berger (Duke University) presented "The Rapid Growth of Uncertainty Quantification in the 21st Century" and highlighted Jerry's involvement during his time at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences where made UQ one of the central initiatives, and started the growth of UQ. From Jerry's contributions, this growth became exponential in the 21st century, including a joint initiative in UQ between the ASA and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), involving interest groups, a new journal, and meetings.

NISS Reception at JSM 2023: A Night of Celebration and Networking

The annual NISS Reception, a highly anticipated event within the statistical community, took place on Monday night, August 7th at the Delta Hotel Toronto Marriott. Set against the elegant backdrop of the Parkdale Room on the 3rd floor, the reception brought together statisticians, researchers, and industry professionals for an evening of camaraderie and celebration. Amidst the vibrant and relaxed atmosphere, attendees seized the opportunity to engage with colleagues and friends, discussing the latest advancements in statistical science, groundbreaking research findings, and innovative methodologies. 

Highlighting the significance of the evening, the NISS Reception served as a platform for honoring exceptional contributions to the field of statistics. The gathering witnessed the announcement and celebration of the recipients of esteemed awards, including the Jerome Sacks Award for Outstanding Cross-Disciplinary Research, the NISS Distinguished Alumni Award, and the NISS Distinguished Service Award. These luminaries were recognized for their unwavering commitment to advancing statistical science, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and demonstrating outstanding service to the community.

The enchanting ambiance of the venue further elevated the experience, creating an inviting space for attendees to connect and engage in meaningful conversations. Whether industry professionals, academic researchers, or government representatives, the NISS Reception provided a unique opportunity to forge connections, share insights, and nurture partnerships that will continue to shape the trajectory of statistical research and application.

Friday, August 11, 2023 by Megan Glenn