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CSP 2022: The Art and Science of Statistical Practice

1 April 2022 No Comment
David J. Corliss, Director of Peace-Work and Chair of the 2022 CSP Steering Committee

The 2022 Conference on Statistical Practice (CSP) was held virtually February 1–3. With dozens of presentations, speaker panels, posters, and networking events in addition to a keynote by ASA President Kathy Ensor, the 11th CSP continued its tradition of presenting the state of the art in statistical practices and in-depth discussions about many of the challenges faced by practitioners today.

CSP focuses on practical applications and bringing together practitioners in all areas of work to present, learn, and discuss statistical methods and best practices. Attendees from academia, industry, government, and NGOs share content in four themes: Career, Professional, and Leadership Development; Study Design and Data Management, Implementation and Analysis; and Effective Communication. The three-day conference starts with a day of short courses from leading speakers on a variety of statistical methods. This is followed by a day and a half of contributed presentations and a half day of tutorials. The conference also includes a series of poster sessions, which are great for meeting people and seeing new research. They often provide less-experienced presenters an opportunity to develop their presentation skills without writing a full paper.

This year, CSP kicked off with a keynote by Ensor, Noah G. Harding Professor of Statistics at Rice University, where her research includes development of the Kinder Institute Urban Data Platform. Ensor’s talk, “Urban Analytics and the Leadership Role of Statisticians,” combined her team’s research in urban analytics with a broader message about how statisticians can and should play a leading role in advocacy and policy development to serve the public interest.

A key aspect of CSP that makes it distinctive are presentations about the ‘new normal’ in statistical practice: emerging analytic methods going mainstream. While conferences such as the Joint Statistical Meetings focus on new research—often in niche areas—CSP centers on developing and communicating best practices. Each year brings a new wave of technology making waves in practical applications. Another dimension is addressing challenges statisticians and data scientists all share, such as questions of causality and maximizing the learning gained from statistical models.

The event is also a lot of fun. Networking remains one of the most important and enjoyable activities at CSP. Virtual rooms provided a chance to meet and interact. Colleagues and old friends discussed emerging analytic methods and planned their next projects. Another favorite conference activity is Trivia Night. Attendees were put into groups and channeled into breakout rooms where they answered questions about history, science, fun and games, and—of course—statistics. It was great fun for all.

In 2023, CSP will return to an in-person conference. Led by conference chair, Mac Turner, CSP will take place in San Francisco February 2–4.

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