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Message from Incoming SPES Chair

1 January 2013 514 views No Comment
Winson Taam

    Many years ago, I attended a statistics conference at which speakers and participants presented and engaged in discussion with great enthusiasm and camaraderie. The theme of the conference had to do with industrial statistics, and it sparked my interest in the ASA’s Section on Physical and Engineering Sciences. Since then, I have been a benefactor of the work SPES does. Specifically, I have had the opportunity to meet statisticians with common interests through the Spring Research and Fall Technical conferences and attend SPES-sponsored webinars and events at the Joint Statistical Meetings. It is with great honor and pleasure that I can give back and serve as chair in 2013.

    FTC Wrap-Up
    David Edwards, FTC Program Chair

    The 56th Annual Fall Technical Conference, themed “Statistics & Quality: Expanding the Horizon,” took place October 4–5 in St. Louis, Missouri. SPES, the ASA’s Q&P Section, the ASQ Statistics Division, and the ASQ Chemical & Process Industries Division jointly sponsor the conference. General conference chair, Brenda Bishop (ASQ-CPID), deserves our praise for a great conference.

    The backbone of FTC is the program, which was assembled by David Edwards (chair, ASA-Q&P), Robert Wilkinson (ASA-SPES), Peter Parker (ASQ-STAT), and Maria Weese (ASQ-CPID). We appreciated all those who submitted abstracts for the program.

    Among the highlights of the conference was the plenary talk by Connie Borror, who shared her thoughts about undergraduate statistics education. C.F. Jeff Wu gave the W.J. Youden Memorial Address, titled “Quality Technology in the High-Tech Age.”

    The SPES invited session consisted of “Recent Developments in Model Selection for Multivariate Nonparametric Regression,” by Helen Zhang, and “Recent Developments in Bayesian Methods for High-Dimensional Regression,” by Chris Hans. In addition to the program, the conference had short courses by Doug Montgomery on generalized linear models, Peter Goos and Brad Jones on optimal design of experiments, Doug Timmer on SPC for autocorrelated processes, and Pat Whitcomb on mixture experiments.

    Mark your calendars now to attend the 57th Annual Fall Technical Conference October 17–18 in San Antonio, Texas. If you are interested in presenting an applied or expository paper, contact Robert Wilkinson at Robert.Wilkinson@lubrizol.com for abstract submission guidelines. Abstract submission deadline is February 28.

    SPES serves more than 600 ASA members by providing networking opportunities, sponsoring technical conferences, reaching out to universities with industrial speaker programs, supporting new statisticians through student scholarships, collaborating with other sections and societies to sponsor professional activities, and encouraging good work through awards and recognition.

    One popular event SPES sponsors at JSM is the joint mixer with the Quality and Productivity (Q&P) Section. Members from SPES and Q&P donate door prizes such as the Pillsbury Dough Boy, a Hokie Cap, an official mug from the Olympic Games in London, Chevron gas cards, a golf umbrella, gift certificates from publishers, books with authors’ dedications to the lucky winners, and statistical software.

    As your chair, I would like to continue the great work past leaders have started and contribute to advancing our membership. Two main conferences SPES sponsors are in excellent health. The 2013 Spring Research Conference will be held in Los Angeles, California, in June. The 2013 Fall Technical Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas, in October. Send in your best work by responding to the call for papers.

    Even though SPES is not the official sponsor of the Conference on Statistical Practice, I find that the conference’s goals and content may interest our membership.

    The Marquardt Industrial speakers program is in great shape, thanks to Jennifer Van Mullekom, who has already arranged a number of speaker visits for 2013. It is never too late to contact Van Mullekom if you want to share your statistics experience with schools and universities.

    The International Year of Statistics takes place this year. Look for opportunities to spread the word about the effect of statistics on daily life.

    I do appreciate the volunteers who have put in many hours of personal time to advance the causes of SPES and promote its goals. I would like to thank Angela Dean, SPES chair in 2012, for spending numerous hours showing me the ropes.

    Don’t forget to send in your latest news through the ASA Community or by contacting our publicity officer, Matthew Pratola, at mpratola@gmail.com. Also, visit the SPES website to learn about the latest events such as webinars, scholarship opportunities, newsletters, and conferences.

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