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Pearl Sponsors Causality Award

1 November 2012 1,429 views No Comment
Prize Committee
Dennis Pearl (co-chair)
Judea Pearl (co-chair)
Daniel Kaplan
Maya Petersen
Michael Posner
Larry Wasserman

The ASA announces a new prize, Causality in Statistics Education, aimed at encouraging the teaching of basic causal inference in introductory statistics courses.

The prize carries an award of $5,000 per year. Donated by Judea Pearl, the prize is motivated by the growing importance of introducing core elements of causal inference into undergraduate and lower-division graduate classes in statistics.

The prize will be given by the ASA in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to a person or team that does the most to enhance the teaching and learning of causal inference in statistics. Winners will be announced on or about May 31 each year and presented with the prize at a major ASA conference.

Winners will be selected by the members of the prize committee according to the following criteria:

• The extent to which the material submitted equips students with skills needed for effective causal reasoning. These include:

—1a. Ability to correctly classify problems, assumptions, and claims into two distinct categories: causal vs. associational

—1b. Ability to take a given causal problem and articulate in some mathematical language (e.g., counterfactuals, equations, or graphs) both the target quantity to be estimated and the assumptions one is prepared to make (and defend) to facilitate a solution

—1c. Ability to determine, in simple cases, whether control for covariates is needed for estimating the target quantity, what covariates need be controlled, what the resulting estimand is, and how it can be estimated using the observed data

—1d. Ability to take a simple scenario (or model), determine whether it has statistically testable implications, and apply data to test the assumed scenario

• The extent to which the submitted material assists statistics instructors in gaining an understanding of the basics of causal inference (as outlined in 1a-d) and prepares them to teach these basics in undergraduate and lower-division graduate classes in statistics.

Nominated material can include exemplary content such as class notes, books, or chapters with associated lesson plans; excellent resources for teachers such as annotated instruction manuals; or innovative student activities with pedagogical and content notes, especially those using broadly accessible technology.

The deadline for submission is February 28, 2013. Click here for additional information.

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