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Meetings, Courses Keep Biometrics Section Busy

13 May 2010 1,046 views No Comment
Edited by Page Moore, Biometrics Section Publications Officer

All JSM attendees are invited to join us at the Biometrics Section mixer and business meeting at the 2010 JSM. It will be held on Monday, August 2, from 5:30–7 p.m. It’s a great networking opportunity and an excellent way to meet other section members. In addition, Jim Cochran will take a few minutes to share information about Statistics Without Borders (SWB)—some of its current projects and how members can become involved.

Continuing Education Courses at JSM 2010

Jerry Heatley, Continuing Education Chair

The section is proud to cosponsor one short course during the 2010 JSM: “Regression Modeling Strategies,” Sunday, August 1, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Frank Harrell Jr., professor and chair, department of biostatistics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, will present a one day short course on regression modeling strategies. Regression models are frequently used to develop diagnostic, prognostic, and health resource utilization models in clinical, health services, outcomes, pharmacoeconomic, and epidemiologic research, and in a multitude of nonhealth-related areas. Regression models are also used to adjust for patient heterogeneity in randomized clinical trials, to obtain tests that are more powerful and valid than unadjusted treatment comparisons. Models must be flexible enough to fit nonlinear and nonadditive relationships, but unless the sample size is enormous, the approach to modeling must avoid common problems with data mining or data dredging that result in overfitting and a failure of the predictive model to validate on new subjects.

All standard regression models have assumptions that must be verified for the model to have power to test hypotheses and to be able to make accurate predictions. Of the principal assumptions (linearity, additivity, distributional), this short course will emphasize methods for assessing the first two. Practical but powerful tools are presented for validating model assumptions and presenting model results. This course provides methods for estimating the shape of the relationship between predictors and response.

The first part of the course presents the following elements of multivariable predictive modeling for a single response variable: using regression splines to relax linearity assumptions, perils of variable selection and overfitting, where to spend degrees of freedom, shrinkage, imputation of missing data, data reduction, and interaction surfaces. Then a default overall modeling strategy will be described, with an eye toward “safe data mining.” This is followed by methods for graphically understanding models (e.g., using nomograms) and using resampling to estimate a model’s likely performance on new data.

Participants should have a good working knowledge of multiple regression. The following articles might be read in advance:

  • Harrell, Lee, Mark: Stat in Med 15: 361-387, 1996.
  • Spanos, Harrell, Durack: JAMA 262: 2700-2707, 1989.

Some participants may want to read Chapters 1–5 and 10 of the instructor’s book Regression Modeling Strategies (NY: Springer, 2001). For details, visit this web site.

ENAR 2011

It is time to think about invited sessions for ENAR 2011, which will be held March 20–23, 2011, in Miami Beach, Florida. Anyone who is interested in organizing an invited session or who has ideas for one may contact our 2011 program chair, Jason Fine, at ballot online at the ASA web site. The candidates for chair-elect are Dianne M. Finkelstein, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Mike Daniels, University of Florida. The two candidates for secretary/treasurer are Mimi Y. Kim, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Debashis Ghosh, Penn State University. Section members can vote on these positions as well as other positions in the ASA.

JSM 2011

It’s time to start thinking about invited sessions for next year’s Joint Statistical Meetings, which will be held July 30–August 4 in Miami Beach, Florida. Anyone who is interested in organizing an invited session or who has ideas for one should contact our 2011 program chair, Tianxi Cai, at tcai@hsph.harvard.edu.

A typical invited session consists of three 30-minute talks followed by a 10-minute invited discussion and 10 minutes of floor discussion. However, other formats are possible. The 2010 program is a good source for examples.

The most mature ideas will have an advantage in competing for the limited number of slots, so session ideas should be in final form by the middle of this June. The section will have at least four invited sessions, but if we generate enough good ideas we will be able to compete for additional slots as well.

Please also submit ideas for short courses to our 20112–2012 continuing education chair, Annie Qu, at anniequ@illinois.edu .

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