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CSP 2017 Brings Statisticians Face to Face

1 April 2017 196 views No Comment

Photos courtesy of Meg Ruyle/ASA

Moon Jung Cho, Bureau of Labor Statistics and CSP Program Chair


The 2017 Conference on Statistical Practice was held February 23–25. Four hundred fifty participants gathered at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida. 

The conference began with short courses and an opening mixer on Thursday. The following two days were filled with presentations, poster sessions, tutorials, and practical computing demonstrations. Keynote speaker David Banks set the tone of the conference with his presentation “Snakes and Ladders: Challenges in Forging a Career in Statistics.”

Unique to CSP is its theme, “Communication, Collaboration, and Career Development.” This theme provides participants with tools for leadership and external communication, with the goal of empowering participants to bring a positive impact to their organizations.

A new feature this year was a face-to-face task group charged with facilitating networking for conference attendees that allowed them to engage and connect with each other easily. Some of the face-to-face ideas included the following:

    SPEED NETWORKING: We set up speed networking tables at the poster session Friday evening. Participants were assigned a table for a quick round of speed networking to meet and discuss the conference. 

    COMMON AREA GATHERING SIGNS: Gathering signs were placed in the common area to encourage participants to have meeting points prior to going for coffee, lunch, dinner, and other conference-related events.

    DINNER FOR CONSULTANTS: There was a dinner for aspiring and practicing statistical consultants. The goal was to make personal and professional connections and get support from colleagues.

    THEME DINNERS: Participants signed up for topic-based group dinners on Thursday and Friday evenings. The “Data for Good” theme dinner was led by David Corliss; “Misleading Graphs” by Naomi Robbins; and “Organizational Impact, Analytics Change, and Soft Skills for Success” by Terri Henderson.

    EVENING OUTING: Around 30 people participated in a Jacksonville “Legends and Liars” walking tour led by a local historian and storyteller Friday evening.

As in previous years, we continued the CSP Mentoring Program, which was designed to establish a 1:1 mentoring relationship between junior and senior statistical practitioners and provide an opportunity to enhance personal and professional development goals.

By design, the CSP space is centered on a common area that holds the exhibitor booths, opening mixer, poster sessions, and breakfast and any refreshments. This physical arrangement, along with the small conference size, provides a great opportunity for continuous networking throughout the conference.

The CSP 2017 Best Student Poster Award went to Thomas Metzger of Virginia Tech for “Detecting Interaction in Two-Way Unreplicated Experiments via Bayesian Model Selection” and Carl Ganz of UCLA Center for Health Policy Research for “Using Shiny to Efficiently Process Survey Data.”

CSP 2018 will take place in Portland, Oregon. We hope to see you there!

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