Going to JSM? Check Out These Offerings
This column is written for statisticians with master’s degrees and highlights areas of employment that will benefit statisticians at the master’s level. Comments and suggestions should be sent to Megan Murphy, Amstat News managing editor, at email@example.com.
Greg Goodwin earned both his bachelor’s in mathematics and statistics and his master’s in statistics from the University of Vermont. He works as an analytics software tester in the Advanced Analytics Division at SAS.
Attending JSM provides opportunities to broaden your knowledge through Continuing Education courses, panel discussions, poster sessions, invited talks, roundtables, and more. With such a wide array of choices, it will benefit you to spend some time reviewing the online program and mapping out a plan to attend the sessions that interest you. However, members of the Committee on Applied Statisticians think the following offerings will benefit statisticians at the master’s level.
Strategic Career Planning for the Academic Statistical Scientist: Another Kind of ‘Survival Analysis’
August 1, 10:30 a.m., CC-Room 31A
Panelists: Shari Messinger, Motomi Mori, Ralph O’Brien, and James Grady
Many MS and PhD biostatisticians are recruited by academic institutions to be involved primarily in consulting and collaborating. They become instrumental in enhancing the ability of various research teams to write successful grant proposals and produce excellent publications that will have a strong effect in science and/or on public policy. Yet, while such statistical scientists are greatly valued by their collaborators and institutions, all of them—even the very best—face the same question: What about my career development? The effective leader of a biostatistics unit in academia faces the same question, but from a different perspective: Given the limited resources I have today, how do I best promote such career development so that my whole unit thrives? This panel and discussion will focus on how collaborating biostatisticians can survive and thrive in academia today. The panel members cover two perspectives, that of the individual biostatistician and that of the leader of the biostatistics unit. Issues to be addressed include expectations of both the institution and the individual, documentation of collaborative success, and criteria for promotion and tenure.
Simulations to Aid Novel Clinical Trials Designs and Analyses
July 31, 2:00 p.m., HQ-Sapphire B
Speakers: Devan Mehrotra, James Bolognese, Elizabeth Krachey, and Neal Thomas
The area of clinical trial simulation has evolved over the past decade, and its utility is rising as the need to make drug development more efficient and informative is ever increasing. It is well recognized by researchers and regulators that trial planning can be improved by using quantitative models in clinical trial simulations that incorporate available information from different aspects of drug development such as drug exposure-response, placebo effects, and disease progression. Clinical trial simulations offer an attractive tool in making decisions to improve the probability of success at the end of the trial. The goal of this session is to discuss current practices and application of clinical trial simulation for informing decisions during drug development and regulatory review. Experts in this area will discuss how clinical trial simulations are being applied in various therapeutic areas and provide case studies (both successful and not so successful) based on their experiences.
The Human Side of Statistical Engineering
July 30, 2:00 p.m., HQ-Sapphire D
Panelists: Erin Tannenbaum, Doug Zahn, Ronald Snee, and Christine Anderson-Cook
We believe statistical engineering will help statistics grow to serve our data-dependent society better. This growth could be stimulated if statisticians develop a deeper understanding of the applications they work on and improve their interactions with others. This session will be of value to statisticians in all areas and students. Speakers will address situations in which they have encountered nontechnical barriers to effective problemsolving. They will examine how these barriers occur, why they are powerful, and how to overcome them effectively. Examples of barriers may include group dynamics, grasping client’s ground rules, recovering from mistakes, identifying how clients will use results in the future, dealing with naysayers, providing or receiving advice, and solutions that require a fundamental change to one of the participants’ job description. Statistical engineering is still in its formative stages. Now is the time to include the human side of statistical engineering in the curriculum so the practitioner will have a complete set of tools to succeed and overcome technical and nontechnical barriers.
Challenges and Opportunities in Remote Statistical Consulting
July 30, 10:30 a.m., CC-Room 29D
Speakers: Christy Chuang-Stein, Mary Batcher, Jim Rutherford, and George Milliken
The statistical discipline is growing in many ways, not the least of which is geographically. As our world becomes more global and virtual, we often consult with clients geographically removed from us, sometimes with people we have never met face-to-face. This type of relationship introduces challenges beyond those of traditional consulting, yet it allows the statistical consultant to grow our discipline in ways not previously possible. We will explore these challenges and propose solutions based on the experiences of senior statistical consultants. They will share their stories and recommendations from various industries and diverse consulting relationships, covering such topics as the changing world of work that makes remote statistical consulting possible and necessary; the soft side of consulting, which is more difficult to do successfully when remote; tools and techniques for communication and collaboration; processes and procedures for new aspects of consulting, such as travel; and new aspects of traditional consulting, such as contracts. Any statistician who consults, or is thinking about consulting, with distant clients will benefit from the experiences shared in this session.
Minding the Gap
July 31, 12:30 p.m.
Discussion leaders: Barbara Hanusa and Marlene Egger
Critical roles for many applied statisticians are translating statistical methods and appropriate research designs into something nonstatisticians can use (and tolerate) and translating the concerns content area specialists have into something statisticians who focus on evolving methods and theory can expand. It is these statisticians who effectively increase the quality of the research in many content areas, but often are outside the box when it comes to recognition of their work in statistical or content areas. This roundtable is designed to bring this group of statisticians together to identify ways the ASA might support and recognize them and increase their presence within the ASA.
View your JSM online program for many more interesting sessions. See you at JSM 2012 in San Diego!