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Astrostatistics Committee Initiated

1 April 2010 1,380 views No Comment
Joseph Hilbe, Solar System Ambassador, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech

    The International Statistical Institute (ISI) Council recently approved the creation of the first standing astrostatistics committee by a recognized statistical or astronomical organization. It also approved the ISI Astrostatistics Network, the first global association of astrostatisticians.

    The foremost goals of the committee, which serves as the executive board of the network, are to foster collaboration between statisticians and astronomers; to support ongoing astrostatistics educational programs, collaborations, conferences, and groups; and to promote astrostatistical research through invited sessions, forums, and in a proposed Journal of Astrostatistics (Wiley). The committee has been awarded an invited session at next year’s ISI World Statistics Congress in Dublin, Ireland.

    ASA members and others with an interest in the statistical analysis of astronomical data are invited to become members of the ISI Astrostatistical Network. There are no dues or obligations, but network members are requested to provide their name, affiliation and address, email or web site, and areas of research interest. A registry is maintained where network members can identify other members with similar interests and capabilities for the purpose of collaborative research. Statisticians with expertise appropriate for a particular astronomical research study may thus be identified for participation on the study team.

    Several ASA members serve on the ISI astrostatistics committee. Three are ASA Fellows Joseph Hilbe (chair), Solar System Ambassador, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech; G. Jogesh Babu (vice chair), director, Pennsylvania State Center for Astrostatistics; and David van Dyk (vice chair), coordinator, California-Harvard AstroStatistics Collaboration. ASA members Eric Feigelson, a noted astrophysicist and associate director of the Pennsylvania Center for Astrostatistics, is the vice chair liaison to the International Astronomical Union, and David Hand, who just ended his tenure as president of the Royal Statistical Society, is vice chair liaison to that organization.

    Visit the inaugural ISI astrostatistics web site for more information. It will be updated regularly. Direct requests for membership in the network to the chair, Joseph Hilbe, at hilbe@asu.edu or j.m.hilbe@gmail.com.

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