Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research: An Introduction
Leandro Pardo, SEIO President
1950: Sixto Rios founded Trabajos de Estadística.
1963: Trabajos de Estadística changed its name to Trabajos de Estadística e Investigación Operativa and became the official journal of the SEIO.
1986: Trabajos de Estadística e Investigación Operativa was separated into two journals. Trabajos de Estadística focused on statistics, and Trabajos de Investigación Operativa focused on operations research.
1992: Trabajos de Estadística was renamed TEST and began to be published in English.
1993: Trabajos de Investigación Operativa was designated TOP.
In the 2012 Journal Citation Reports, produced by Thomson Reuters, TEST has an impact factor of 1.271 and is ranked 36th in the list of 117 journals of statistics and probability, whereas TOP has an impact factor of 0.843 and is ranked 44th in the list of 78 journals of operations research and management science.
Based in Madrid, Spain, the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, originally called Sociedad Española de Investigación Operativa (SEIO), was launched on February 12, 1962, in the facilities of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish Research Council). At that time, there was a need to promote the theory and practice of operations research in Spain. On June 30, 1976, the scope of the society expanded to include statistics and computer science under the new name Sociedad Española de Investigación Operativa, Estadística e Informática. However, due to the rapid development of several other societies related to computer science, the activities of the society focused on statistics and operations research, and on December 20, 1984, the current name, Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, was adopted.
Today, the SEIO is a scientific society that aims to promote the advancement of the theory, methodology, and applications of statistics and operations research. In pursuit of this mission, SEIO organizes meetings and workshops; edits scientific journals, books, and newsletters; and encourages national and international scientific exchange. Furthermore, it encourages ties between academic, business, and government institutions, as well as the dissemination of the science and methodology of statistics and operations research.
The society president is elected for three years in accordance with the SEIO bylaws. Once the election is held, he/she serves as president-elect for a year and a half (the time between two consecutive national SEIO conferences). And after three years as president, he/she serves as the past president for a year and a half. Currently, the past president is José Miguel Angulo.
SEIO is organized into two sections—Statistics and Operations Research—and governed by an executive committee made up of the president, either the president-elect or the past president, the vice president of statistics, the vice president of operations research, the secretary general, and five other members. All are elected for three years by SEIO’s members, except for the secretary general, who is nominated by the president. The executive committee is advised by two academic committees, one for statistics and the other for operations research. Each academic committee is composed of the corresponding vice president and two representatives elected by the SEIO’s members for three years.
Members of the executive committee create commissions to promote activities in different fields of interest for the society. Currently, the SEIO has five: Cooperation and Development, Education, Universities, Business, and Women. In the SEIO, working groups are also important because they promote exchanges between members who do research on related topics in statistics and/or operations research. At present, SEIO has the following research groups: Game Theory, Location Theory, Multicriteria Decision Theory, Classification and Multivariate Analysis, Functional Data Analysis, and Teaching of Statistics and Operations Research.
The Society of Statistics and Operations Research promotes training at the high-school level in statistics and operations research and organizes a program of student competitions called Incubator of Surveys and Experiments, in which students present statistical studies on a topic they have selected. The goal is for students to value the role of statistics in daily life and the experimental and social sciences. Regional competitions lead to a national competition coordinated by the SEIO. The Incubator of Surveys and Experiments initiative has become a benchmark for statistics among high-school students and teachers in Spain and could possibly grow into an international program.
Since 2013, SEIO has participated in the organization of the Spanish Statistics Olympiad, joining other national and international Olympiads such as the Mathematics, Linguistics, Mindsport, Chess, Computer, Physics, and Chemistry.
The SEIO edits two scientific journals: TEST and TOP. Members of the executive committee appoint the two editors-in-chief of each journal for a period of three years, which can be renewed for another three years. Since 2007, these journals have been published and distributed by Springer, though they continue to be the two official journals of the SEIO.
TEST is a journal of statistics and probability. Its scope includes both established and emerging areas, and English is the journal’s official language. TEST focuses on papers that offer original theoretical contributions and have demonstrated or potential value for applications. Methodological content is crucial for publication in the journal. In addition to regular peer-reviewed contributions, each issue of TEST features an invited paper covering a current and challenging topic that is authored by an internationally recognized statistician. Comments on the invited paper and a rejoinder also are included in the same issue. One volume is published annually in four issues.
TOP publishes original findings in operations research and management sciences. Contributions investigate either mathematical issues or applications to real-world decisionmaking problems. The topics covered are continuous and discrete optimization, games, decision theory, logistics, production planning, stochastic models, simulation, and operation research applications. Each year, a volume of the journal is published in three parts. All three parts also include an invited article with discussion and articles accepted after a meticulous peer-review process.
SEIO also produces an electronic bulletin, called InfoSEIO. This is a quarterly publication that informs members about news and developments in statistics and operations research. It includes information about events, meetings, conferences, competitions, appointments, and prizes; summaries of doctoral theses; and interviews and review articles.
SEIO also publishes BEIO (Bulletin of Statistics and Operations Research), a quarterly journal that includes expository articles and reviews on statistics and operations research. These articles are written in a way that makes topics accessible to the majority of professionals in statistics and operations research, without sacrificing scientific rigor. The journal has sections on statistics, operations research, official statistics, history and teaching, and opinions about the profession.
Conferences and Meetings
SEIO holds a national conference every year and a half, with about 400 participants. The annual general meeting of the society also takes place at this conference. The 34th conference was celebrated in Castellón in September 2013. The XXXV Congreso Nacional de Estadística e Investigación Operativa y las IX Jornadas de Estadística Pública will take place in Navarra in May 2015, organized in collaboration with the Public University of Navarra.
At every SEIO meeting, an award is given for the best research work presented by a young statistician or operations researcher. The award, called “Premio Ramiro Melendreras,” was established in 1984 in memory of Ramiro Melendreras.
On December 20, 2013, the SEIO held a closing ceremony for the International Year of Statistics. There were more than 200 participants from universities, government agencies, and business organizations throughout Spain. The event was organized with the following three objectives:
- Acknowledge former SEIO presidents for their fundamental contributions to creating a healthy and sound society
- Showcase the work of the society and its members
- Demonstrate the society’s interest in collaborating with companies and institutions to meet their needs
A keynote talk, titled “Is the Statistics Profession Prepared for the World of Big Data?” was delivered by Robert Rodriguez, 2012 ASA president and senior director of statistical research and development at SAS Institute. He pointed out that Big Data presents us with a paradox: high demand for statistical tools, yet low visibility for the field of statistics. The future of our field depends on how well we serve the needs of emerging areas of application and how well we equip our students to solve problems with new types of data. Statisticians must also improve their ability to communicate and lead within their organizations. After the keynote talk, a diverse panel of distinguished experts offered their perspectives on the present and future of statistics as they relate to the emergence of Big Data. This discussion was followed by a ceremony during which medals were presented to the former presidents of the society.
Leandro Pardo (2013–present)
José Miguel Angulo (2010–2013)
Ignacio García-Jurado (2007–2010)
Domingo Morales (2004–2007)
Pedro Gil (2001–2004)
Rafael Infante (1998–2001)
Jesús T. Pastor (1994–1998)
Elías Moreno (1992–1994)
Daniel Peña (1989–1992)
Marco A. López (1986–1989)
Pilar Ibarrola (1984–1986)
Sixto Ríos (1969–1984)
Fermín de la Sierra (1962–1969)