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Chambers Statistical Software Award Competition Announced

1 November 2011 No Comment

The Statistical Computing Section announces the John M. Chambers Statistical Software Award.

In 1998, the Association for Computing Machinery presented its Software System Award to John Chambers for the design and development of S. Chambers donated his award to the Statistical Computing Section to endow an annual prize for statistical software written by an undergraduate or graduate student. The prize carries an award of $500 and a substantial allowance for travel to the annual Joint Statistical Meetings, where the award will be presented.

Teams of up to three people can participate in the competition, with the cash award being split among team members. The travel allowance will be given to just one team member, who will be presented with the award during JSM. To be eligible, the team must have designed and implemented a piece of statistical software. The individual within the team indicated to receive the travel allowance must have begun the development while a student and must either be a student or have completed all requirements for her/his last degree after January 1, 2011. To apply for the award, teams must provide the following:

  • Current CV for all team members
  • A letter from a faculty mentor at the academic institution of the individual indicated to receive the travel allowance. The letter should confirm that the individual participated substantially in the development of the software, certify her/his student status when the software began to be developed (and either the current student status or the date of degree completion), and briefly discuss the importance of the software to statistical practice.
  • A one- to two-page description of the software, summarizing what it does, how it does it, and why it is an important contribution. If the team member competing for the travel allowance continued developing the software after finishing her/his studies, the description should indicate what was developed while the individual was a student and what has been added since.
  • An installable software package with its source code for use by the award committee. It should be accompanied by enough information to allow the judges to effectively use and evaluate the software (including its design considerations). This information can be provided in a variety of ways, including a user manual (paper or electronic), a paper, a URL, and online help to the system.
  • All materials must be in English. Electronic text should be submitted in Postscript or PDF format.

The entries will be judged on a variety of dimensions, including the importance and relevance for statistical practice of the tasks performed by the software, ease of use, clarity of description, elegance, and availability for use by the statistical community. Preference will be given to those entries that are grounded in software design, rather than calculation. The decision of the award committee is final.

All application materials must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on February 20, 2012, via email at fchen6@its.jnj.com. The winner will be announced in May, and the award will be given during the 2012 Joint Statistical Meetings.

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