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Special Section in TAS Celebrates 175th Anniversary of ASA

1 July 2015 No Comment
Nicole Lazar, TAS Editor, and Jessica Utts, ASA President-Elect

What is the ASA’s 175th birthday paradox? Why should genealogists thank Lemuel Shattuck, the leading founder of the ASA? What did a coalition of past ASA presidents do in 1997 to save the integrity of the United States census? What are the 11 countries (other than the United States) with the largest ASA membership?


The answers to these questions and more can be found in a collection of articles in the May issue of The American Statistician, which is devoted to a celebration of the ASA’s 175th anniversary. Many of the articles are adapted from presentations given at the 2014 Joint Statistical Meetings as part of the 175th anniversary celebration. The remaining papers were chosen to chronicle important events in the recent history of the statistics profession and the ASA, in keeping with the 175th anniversary theme of “Celebrate Our Past, Energize Our Future.”

The 11 papers cover a variety of topics, including recent and early history of the ASA, predictions of what’s to come, challenges that have faced the statistics profession and how to address them, and targeted histories such as the influence of biostatistics at the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the development of the Advanced Placement Statistics program in the United States. Two of the papers include interviews and a panel discussion with leaders of the statistics profession. Many of the papers suggest actions that ASA members can take to advance our profession. We hope you enjoy reading about our history and some of our current and future challenges and opportunities. We also hope you are inspired to help propel our profession forward to an even brighter future at the 200th anniversary in 2039.

The special section will be freely available on the publication website for 60 days after publication.

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