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Software, Paper Contests Announced

1 October 2009 747 views No Comment

The Statistical Computing Section announces the John M. Chambers Statistical Software Award and the 2010 Student Paper Competition.

In 1998, the Association for Computing Machinery presented its Software System Award to John Chambers for the design and development of S. Chambers donated his award to the Statistical Computing Section to endow an annual prize for statistical software written by an undergraduate or graduate student. The prize carries an award of $1,000 and a substantial allowance for travel to the annual Joint Statistical Meetings, where the award will be presented.

Teams of up to three people can participate in the competition, with the cash award being split among team members. The travel allowance will be given to just one team member, who will be presented with the award during JSM. To be eligible, the team must have designed and implemented a piece of statistical software. The individual within the team indicated to receive the travel allowance must have begun the development while a student and must either be a student or have completed all requirements for her/his last degree after January 1, 2008. To apply for the award, teams must provide the following:

  • Current CV for all team members
  • A letter from a faculty mentor at the academic institution of the individual indicated to receive the travel allowance. The letter should confirm that the individual participated substantially in the development of the software, certify her/his student status when the software began to be developed (and either the current student status or the date of degree completion), and briefly discuss the importance of the software to statistical practice.
  • A one- to two-page description of the software, summarizing what it does, how it does it, and why it is an important contribution. If the team member competing for the travel allowance continued developing the software after finishing her/his studies, the description should indicate what was developed while the individual was a student and what has been added since.
  • Access to the software by the award committee members for their use on inputs of their choosing. Access to the software may consist of an executable file, web-based access, macro code, or another appropriate form. Access should be accompanied by enough information to allow the judges to effectively use and evaluate the software (including its design considerations.) This information can be provided in a variety of ways, including but not limited to, a user manual (paper or electronic), paper, URL, online help to the system, and source code. In particular, the entrant must be prepared to provide complete source code for inspection by the committee, if requested.
  • All materials must be in English. Electronic text should be submitted in Postscript or PDF format.

The entries will be judged on a variety of dimensions, including the importance and relevance for statistical practice of the tasks performed by the software, ease of use, clarity of description, elegance, and availability for use by the statistical community. Preference will be given to those entries that are grounded in software design, rather than calculation. The decision of the award committee is final.

All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. EST on February 22, 2010, via email at feic@avaya.com or mail to Fei Chen, Avaya Labs, 233 Mt. Airy Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Please refer to the award in the subject line or mailing address. The winner will be announced in May, and the award will be given during the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings.

Student Paper Competition

The section also is cosponsoring a student paper competition on statistical computing and statistical graphics. Students are encouraged to submit a paper in one of these areas, which might be original methodological research, a novel computing or graphical application in statistics, or any other suitable contribution (e.g., a software-related project). The selected winners will present their papers in a topic-contributed session during the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings. The Statistical Computing and Statistical Graphics sections will pay registration fees for the winners and provide a substantial allowance for transportation to the meetings and lodging.

Anyone who is a student (graduate or undergraduate) on or after September 1, 2009, is eligible to participate. An entry must include an abstract, six-page manuscript (including figures, tables, and references), blinded versions of the abstract and manuscript (with no authors and no references that easily lead to identifying the authors), CV, and letter from a faculty member familiar with the student’s work. The applicant must be the first author of the paper. The faculty letter must include a verification of the applicant’s student status and, in the case of joint authorship, should indicate what fraction of the contribution is attributable to the applicant. Electronic submissions of papers should be in Postscript or PDF formats, and all materials must be in English.

All application materials must be received by 5 p.m. EST on December 14, 2009, via email at feic@avaya.com or mail to Fei Chen, Avaya Labs, 233 Mt. Airy Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Please refer to the award in the subject line or mailing address. Applications will be reviewed by the Student Paper Competition Award committee for innovation and significance of the contribution and the professional quality of the manuscript. Award announcements will be made in late January of 2010.

Click here for more information about both competitions.

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