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Applied JSM

1 July 2015 One Comment
This column is written for statisticians with master’s degrees and highlights areas of employment that will benefit statisticians at the master’s level. Comments and suggestions should be sent to Megan Murphy, Amstat News managing editor, at megan@amstat.org.

Kincaid Headshot webContributing Editor
Chuck Kincaid is the senior engagement director for the Business Intelligence and Analytics Practice of Experis. He manages analytics professionals in their Kalamazoo Center of Excellence, which has been providing business intelligence and analytics services to almost every industry since the early ’90s. His professional interests are in analytics talent, data science, analytics infrastructure, education, and visualization.

I am a new member of the Committee on Applied Statisticians (CAS), and I have to say I’m excited about it. The committee realizes the need to help statisticians who are more applied than theoretical broaden their knowledge and advance their careers. As part of that effort, I am writing this column to help applied statisticians attending JSM in Seattle make the best use of their time. No, this article is not about the Fish Market or the Mariners, though I do plan to watch them play the Rangers.


Many committees and sections offer applied sessions at JSM. Search by sponsor name online.

The first thing to realize is that what one person considers applied might be too theoretical for another, so look over the abstracts to help you make your decision about which sessions to attend. A cursory search found more than 50 papers that appear applied, but that’s just a starting point.

One way to find more applied sessions is to look at who is sponsoring the sessions when you’re using the online program. CAS and the Section on Statistical Consulting are good places to start, but many of the other sections and committees have applied sessions. Your own sections may have applied sessions that pertain to your interests and/or professional needs. Unfortunately, searching with the keyword “applied” doesn’t show everything.

There are “Added Fee” events that help applied statisticians develop their careers. These can be found in the online program by selecting the options under Professional Development. A couple of examples are CE_02C, Applied Longitudinal Analysis, and CE_03C, The Art and Science of Data Visualization Using R.

There is a particular gem in the search results I would like to point out. On Sunday, there is a free event—CE_43P, Career Development: Discovering Secrets of a Successful Statistical Career. This session, from 2-4 p.m., is specifically for those “interested in exploring potential career opportunities outside academia (e.g., industry, government, research organizations).” If you want to become a more applied statistician, this panel may be valuable.

applied sessions

The “regular” sessions also have a good range of subject matter. Some of the more applied sessions are the following:


  • Spatial Statistics Applied to Environmental Health Problems
  • Calibration
  • Value Added Models – A Primer and Discussion


  • Data Quality
  • Imputation of Missing Data
  • Privacy, Confidentiality, and Sensitive Data


  • Big Data in Seattle
  • Making Better Decisions with Data Science


  • Preparing Students to Work in Industry
  • From Consulting to Collaboration to Leadership: Increasing the Impact of Statistical Practice
    (W. J. Dixon Award Winners)
  • Professionalism, Professional Identity, and Training for Ethical Statistical Practice

I also encourage you to network with other applied statisticians at the business meetings and mixers. CAS, the Statistical Consulting and Physical Engineering and Sciences sections, and others have great opportunities to get together. These can be found by selecting “Business/Cmte Meeting and ICW” in the bottom right of the advanced search feature of the online program. The CAS mixer and business meeting is at 3:00 p.m. on August 11, jointly held with the Career Development and Member Retention and Recruitment committees.

I hope you will take advantage of the many activities at JSM that help applied statisticians. I also encourage you to present applied papers in the future that will help your colleagues. If there’s a topic you are passionate about, there are probably others who are, too. See you in Seattle!

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One Comment »

  • Jim Rutherford said:

    Chuck, thanks for filtering the program for us and making suggestions. I know you know about our Conference on Statistical Practice that is all about applied and partly came out of CAS. You might also look at sessions sponsored by the CSP Steering Committee or SPES.