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Chapter to Sponsor Invited Sessions on Climate Change

1 April 2010 747 views No Comment

The Council of Chapters is sponsoring two invited sessions at the 2010 JSM featuring diverse scientific applications of statistics. One session highlights statistical opportunities in large-scale international science endeavors. The other showcases the work of several Vancouver statisticians exploring the impact of climate change on British Columbia’s forests.

Big Science: Opportunities for Statisticians in the World’s Most Massive Projects

Organizer and chair: Kary Myers, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

From atom smashes to gene sequences, huge collaborative endeavors generate some of the most exciting scientific data and developments in the world today. Often called “big science,” these massive projects combine big machinery, big laboratories, big computing power, and big budgets. In many cases, big science also produces big data sets, offering many opportunities for statistical insights.

In this session, scientists will introduce the technical context and statistical challenges of three big-science efforts: the hunt for the Higgs boson with the Large Hadron Collider (Isabel Trigger, TRIUMF); the mission of the Mars Science Laboratory Rover to assess whether Mars can support microbial life (Sam Clegg, LANL); and the discovery and characterization of Earth-approaching objects like asteroids and comets by way of the Pan-STARRS digital sky survey (Alex Szalay, Johns Hopkins University).

The BC Forest Resource in a Changing Climate

Organizer and chair: Rick Routledge, Simon Fraser University

British Columbia forests are facing unprecedented change. As the last century wound down, the forests were the focus of high-profile protests over forest management practices. Yet as the current century unfolds, massive new threats are emerging. Mountain pine beetles have devastated vast tracts of lodgepole pine, and wildfires have swept down dry hillsides to threaten valley-bottom communities.

Warming temperatures are possible contributing factors. Two of the three speakers will assess scientific evidence for this hypothesized influence. The third will report on investigations on extracting greater benefit from the threatened forest resources.

We hope you’ll add these sessions to your JSM plans. Visit the JSM 2010 web site to view the preliminary online program.

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